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Dropping antibiotics from PGD scheme 'right and responsible', says NPA

Practice NPA cites significant challenge of antimicrobial resistance as reason for scrapping antibiotics from its PGD scheme, which it intends to be a "robust" service

Scrapping antibiotics from a scheme that allows the dispensing of prescription-only medicines (POMs) without a prescription is "right and responsible" in combating resistance, the NPA has said.

The group agreed to remove antibiotics from its patient group direction (PGD) service, which it developed with Day Lewis, after meeting with the Department of Health (DH) last month.

The decision to drop antibiotics from the PGD service followed a meeting between the NPA and the DH

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Trimethoprim, doxycycline and ciprofloxacin will be removed from the scheme, which has been piloted in Day Lewis pharmacies since October and will be made available for NPA members to buy this month. But the scheme will still include azythromycin to treat chlamydia as well as 12 other POMs, the NPA said.

"In the context of the significant challenge of antimicrobial resistance, we are satisfied that our decision around antibiotics is right and responsible," the NPA told C+D.

The NPA and Day Lewis met with the UK chief pharmaceutical officers on December 18 following a meeting request from England's Keith Ridge in response to the DH's concerns about the scheme.

Prior to the meeting, pharmacies participating in the scheme pilot had not been supplying trimethoprim, Zithromax, doxycycline or Ciproxin "as courtesy to the DH", NPA director of pharmacy Deborah Evans told C+D at the end of November.

A joint statement released by the NPA, Day Lewis and the DH following their meeting said the chief pharmaceutical officers had welcomed the NPA's decision to remove antibiotics from the service to help combat increasing antibiotic resistance.

The NPA had gone to "some lengths to provide a robust PGD service", the statement added. It also said the NPA would provide data to the DH on the evaluation of the pilot scheme.

"This will help inform future consideration of how best to use PGDs in the armoury of methods to improve safe access to the medicines the public need."


What do you think about the decision to drop antibiotics from the scheme?

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3 Comments

Rajive Patel, Community pharmacist

Absolutely correct decision.

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

Just had yet another rx for 6 trimethoprim for a lady who hasnt seen a GP. what is the point apart from GPs protecting their proffession to the disadvantage of the patient

Keith Seston, Other pharmacist

Absolutely the wrong decision.
My experience is that women presenting with cystitis symptoms for the first time do not have microbial analysis undertaken and often have to wait up to 3 days to be seen by a GP.If they are lucky they have a telephone conversation with the GP who faxes me a script.Even those who suffer repeated attacks follow a similar pathway.Why make patients suffer unecessarily??Should pharmacist and nurse prescribers have similar restrictions on prescribing antibiotics?.
Alternatively arrange for all GPs to take their responsibilities more seriously and see patients within the same time scale that they will be seen in a pharmacy.Anyway PGD's for antibiotics are readily available elsewhere for cystitis

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