Pharmacists can be key in fighting antibiotic resistance: Kardachi

lots of pills with an antibiotic capsule on top

The PSA has welcomed the announcement of the national strategy to reduce the threat of antibiotic resistance.

PSA has been leading international efforts for a global pharmacy-wide approach to the problem.

The Australian Government has announced the new strategy following release of data showing Australia’s consumption of antibiotics is among the highest in the developed world with more than 29 million prescriptions for antibiotics supplied to more than 10 million patients – or 45% of the population – in 2013.

National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, says the Government initiative will help focus efforts to address this growing problem.

“PSA has long advocated for action in this area and this year joined with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain to press the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the global body representing pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences, to take action on antimicrobial resistance,” Kardachi says.

“As a result of this advocacy, FIP is developing a briefing document on the role of pharmacists in AMR, ready for its annual congress in Germany later this year.

“The FIP approach will aim to prompt action on the issue of antibiotics and AMR, and to serve as a foundation for future work within FIP on this topic, including a revision of the FIP statement on AMR.

“In addition, following our leadership in this area, the topic of AMR and responsible use of antimicrobials will also be discussed at a stakeholder roundtable held prior to the 2016 FIP Congress in Buenos Aires.”

Kardachi says PSA believes that AMR presents significant public health risks and needs to be treated as a high priority both nationally and internationally.

“The Australian Government’s strategy is a very positive step in developing a cohesive and unified approach to addressing this growing problem,” Kardachi says.

“As the medications experts, pharmacists can play a vital role in educating patients and advising them on the appropriate use of antibiotics.

“Antibiotics play a vital role in health management and wellbeing but too often they are not being used appropriately and this is an area where pharmacists’ advice is crucial.

“PSA welcomes the strategy and looks forward to working closely with the Government to help implement it and make a real difference.”

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