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.