Pharmacists have raised concerns that antibiotics are in danger of losing their effectiveness as a result of “over-prescribing and over-use”. The claim was made today at the IPU National Pharmacy Conference hosted by the Irish Pharmacy Union, which takes place in Galway this weekend.
Speaking today IPU incoming Vice President, Kathy Maher, a pharmacist from Co. Meath said that antibiotics were a critical tool in the fight against illness but that overuse threatened their continued effectiveness; “Despite increased efforts on the part of all healthcare partners to help control antibiotic resistance, more needs to be done and tighter controls are required to stop the unnecessary use of antibiotics in Ireland. Using antibiotics when they are not necessary allows bacteria that cause infections to build up resistance against antibiotics, making them useless over time. This puts the lives of future generations at risk as there are very few new antibiotics being developed. Safeguarding the effectiveness of existing antibiotic medication is a priority.”
The conference also heard from Dr Fidelma Fitzpatrick, Clinical lead for prevention of healthcare-associated infection in the HSE & Consultant Microbiologist, Beaumont Hospital and Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dublin, said, “Antibiotics are life saving and have transformed modern medicine. Indeed, much of modern medicine would not be possible without antibiotics. Antibiotics are a precious resource that we need to preserve for future generations. We cannot return to the era of untreatable infections, hence why we need to continue to reduce unnecessary antibiotics use – pharmacists play a key role in this process”
“However, the issue is not just about avoiding unnecessary antibiotic use, but also ensuring antibiotics are appropriately prescribed and administered when they are required. Local pharmacists who are obviously trusted by their patients and can play a key role in this important issue. In addition, community pharmacies are well recognised as an important resource for health promotion and education, as evidenced by the IPU’s campaign for the recent European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD).”
Practical examples where pharmacists can help include:
Further Information: email@example.com