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DH to enhance pharmacists’ role reviewing antimicrobial prescriptions

Community pharmacists will work with prescribers to review antimicrobial prescriptions
Community pharmacists will work with prescribers to review antimicrobial prescriptions

The government will “enhance” the “critical” role of community pharmacists in reviewing the dose and duration of antimicrobial prescriptions over the next five years.

In its five-year plan on tackling antimicrobial resistance in the UK, published today (January 24) the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) committed to “enhancing the role of pharmacists” in community and primary care “to review the dose and duration of antimicrobial prescriptions (especially long-term or repeat ones) and work with prescribers to review those that are inappropriate through evidence-based, system-wide interventions”.

The deployment of “clinical” pharmacists working in care homes and GP practices is also an opportunity to further “enhance antimicrobial stewardship through knowledge exchange and learning”, the DH continued. These pharmacists have a “key link” to community pharmacies, the DH said.

The rise of electronic prescribing in secondary care presents a further opportunity to support antimicrobial stewardship, through data tracking of prescribing rates and patient compliance, the DH added.

Online pharmacies selling antibiotics

The DH also warned of a “growing number” of online pharmacies which “exploit gaps in global regulatory mechanisms to sell antibiotics around the world, often without prescription or clinical guidance”.

C+D has contacted NHS England to ask for specific details of how the role of community pharmacists will be enhanced.

3 Comments
Question: 
What do you make of the DH's announcement?

Kirit Shah, Community pharmacist

Why to our negotiators agree to provide free services?

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

The whole thing will simply not work. I can literally see the epic failure even it's not even implemented. Community pharmacists have no access to GP medical records, hospital discharge letters, all forms of communications between primary and secondary care and whatever other relevant records. All they get is a crappy SCR which shows nothing and utterly useless apart from being a proof giving out emergency supplies, not to mention it's not always up-to-date! Even if the pharmacists in community are capable and have enough clinical knowledge to 'tackle' the misuse of antibiotics, they simply do NOT have the full picture to make any clinical judgement or you are literally playing with fire by stopping something which is not supposed to be stopped!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

“enhancing the role of pharmacists”

There you go, one more in to my "MORE WORK FOR NO EXTRA PAY" list.

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