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RPS calls on Welsh government to combat antimicrobial resistance

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has teamed up with GPs to persuade the Welsh government to "explore solutions" to antimicrobial resistance.

The RPS hopes to gain support from Welsh Assembly Members (AMs) for an educational programme in schools to dispel "myths" around antibiotic use to children and parents in a meeting today (November 18), organised with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

It also hopes to spread the message about the dangers of the "growing practice" of buying antimicrobials online from outside the UK at the event, which coincides with European Antibiotic Awareness Day and will be attended by representatives from Public Health Wales as well as pharmacy, GP and nursing experts.

The event, which is sponsored by Labour AM David Rees, would take the form of a roundtable discussion rather than a presentation, RPS Wales communications officer Kirsty Luff told C+D. The RPS had invited "lots" of AMs and hoped those that attended would be able to push the antimicrobial agenda in the Welsh Assembly on its behalf, she said.

"There are a lot of myths around antimicrobials. It's trying to get the point across that they don't work for viruses and there is lots to do to prevent yourself getting these bugs in the first place," Ms Luff told C+D.

AMs who attended the meeting would also be encouraged to take a pledge to become an antibiotic guardian and promote better use of the drugs, the RPS said.

Welsh Pharmacy Board chair Mair Davies stressed that buying antibiotics online not only contributed to antimicrobial resistance but also put the individual's health at risk. "These drugs may be contaminated, counterfeit or out-of-date and often there is no guidance on dosage," she said.

Are UK governments doing enough to combat antimicrobial resistance? 

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