The role of pharmacist in encouraging prudent use of antibiotic medicines and averting antimicrobial resistance – a review of current policies and experiences in Europe (2014)
The good pharmacy practice (GPP) Joint FIP/WHO guidelines on GPP: standards for quality of pharmacy services states, “The mission of pharmacy practice is to contribute to health improvement and to help patients with health problems to make the best use of their medicines”. Based on the results of a literature review of the GPP roles relating to AMR and a survey conducted in the WHO European Member States, this report outlines the roles of pharmacists in this mission and, since they are often the first point of contact for patients, their potential as important allies in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The report illustrates that pharmacists already have experience in treating patients with antibiotics, both responsibly and within an appropriate legal framework. It also indicates, however, that in many countries the general public can still buy antibiotics over the counter without a diagnosis or prescription and use them at will. According to the survey, pharmacists are among the best positioned to influence the appropriate use of antibiotics and, therefore, have a crucial role to play in combating AMR alongside policy-makers and general practitioners: every player is key.