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Pharmacists fight antimicrobial resistance

Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals and are fully competent in all aspects of medicines. They serve as communicators and educators on healthy behaviours and infection prevention. They increase the coverage of immunisation in hard-to-reach groups, and are in a good position to explain the importance of using antimicrobials only when needed.

Pharmacists provide effective medication management for both short and long-term
treatments. They assess whether they can successfully treat a patient or whether
the patient needs to be referred to another healthcare professional.

Where pharmacists are legally allowed to prescribe antibiotics, fast and reliable
diagnostic tests can support them in the proper diagnosis of common infections such
as chlamydiamor Lyme disease. In hospitals, pharmacists lead antimicrobial
stewardship programmes and are competent in hygiene and sterilisation.

Pharmacists collect unused medicines, reducing the presence of antimicrobials in the environment.

More information on pharmacists’ contribution can be found in the FIP report
Fighting antimicrobial resistance: The contribution of pharmacists”.         

What is FIP doing to stem AMR?

Policy and advocacy on AMR

FIP was pleased to contribute to the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) consultations to develop the Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance that was subsequently adopted by the 68th World Health Assembly. Since then, FIP has been collaborating with the WHO on the plan’s implementation. For example, FIP was one of the reviewers of the WHO Competency Framework for Health Workers’ Education and Training on Antimicrobial Resistance. Consequently, FIP contributed to the WHO Health Workers’ Education and Training on Antimicrobial Resistance: Curriculum Guide. FIP’s contribution on both publications is acknowledged.

FIP represents voices of pharmacists at the World Health Assembly. At the 74th World Health Assembly in 2021, FIP reiterated to ministers that the pharmacy profession around the world is committed to being part of the solution to antimicrobial resistance. In a statement to the assembly, FIP reported that at least 144 countries have a national action plan on AMR and that it had called on its national pharmacy associations to take an active role in the development and implementation of these plans in its Statement of Policy on the control of AMR.

The FIP Commission on AMR

FIP continues to facilitate the essential contributions of the pharmacy profession to AMR reduction around the world (e.g., through surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial use and resistance, antibiotics distribution and regulation) and is driving action through the FIP Commission on AMR, which is comprised of pharmacy experts with international reach and diverse backgrounds. The commission is chaired by FIP vice president Manjiri Gharat (India).

Taking an inclusive approach to antimicrobials (antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, biocides, disinfectants etc.), the commission is focused on:

  • Providing expertise and advice on AMR across research, pharmacy practice and education in order to inform FIP’s internal discussions (e.g., to appraise FIP’s strategic and policy recommendations) as well as FIP’s collaboration with partners;
  • Delivering AMR-related events for World Antibiotic Awareness Week annually and ensuring the visibility of the FIP AMR agenda at all relevant FIP events and congresses;
  • Collaborating with partners from public and private sphere;
  • Promoting focused education and training on AMR and advocating optimising antimicrobial use, antimicrobial stewardship and mitigating of AMR, in all resource settings;
  • Exploring global initiatives in AMR and opportunities for pharmacists’ involvement.

The commission’s imminent AMR activities span education, policy and public health, with related work in the area of vaccination and safety of medicines. They are in line with the FIP Development Goal 17 (Antimicrobial stewardship). For example, they include building a repository of resources for pharmacists in different settings and a broad engagement exercise during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, taking the form of a series of events that typically run in all six WHO regions. In addition, FIP, through the commission, partnered with the Global Respiratory Infection Partnership, supported through unconditional funds by Reckitt, and developed the FIP Regional AMR Roadmaps. These identify regional initiatives to drive behaviour change and aid the global fight against AMR. The roadmaps run to 2030 and progress is revisited annually.

FIP AMR Resource Repository

 Through the work of the AMR Commission, FIP has created a repository of AMR resources to support different countries with materials around AMR with a particular focus on activities and work being done by pharmacists globally.

The resources have been collated and organised by region and include educational materials, research publications, reports and courses that can be used globally to support the enhancement of the pharmacist’s role in antimicrobial stewardship.

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Celebrated annually, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) aims to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.

FIP was one of the contributors shaping the commemoration of the first ever WAAW, in collaboration with the WHO, in 2015. Since then, FIP has marked WAAW annually and supports aligning national AMR pharmacy campaigns.

During WAAW 2021, FIP hosted a series of events combining efforts with the ambition of “Driving AMR action in a new decade” jointly in collaboration with the Global Respiratory Infection Partnership (GRIP), supported by Reckitt. Global and regional workshops attracted over 4,000 participants, engaging them in collaborative efforts to identify and implement region-specific initiatives to mitigate AMR. Progress with the AMR Roadmaps was showcased with good and bad practice case studies from pharmacy practice.

Click for 2020, 2021 and future events.

Last update 7 April 2022

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