08 January 2014
At the start of the new European Commission’s first full year of operation, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) has issued a call to EU policy-makers to make 2015 a year of action in meeting the antimicrobial resistance challenge.
Publishing a new policy statement of its 34 national member associations, EAHP President Dr Roberto Frontini said:
“The threat antimicrobial resistance poses to healthcare is hard to overstate. Yet we also know a wide array of policy actions are available. The missing component is serious political intent to drive improvement in how antibiotics are used, and to create a better research environment for new antimicrobial agents.
The statement EAHP publishes today reminds policy makers of the opportunities before them – including the vital hospital pharmacist resource. Robust stewardship of antimicrobials in hospitals across Europe can be achieved by unleashing to a greater extent the expert role of the hospital pharmacist. Hospital pharmacists should be empowered to make direct interventions within multidisciplinary care teams to achieve better use of antibiotics. This includes reviewing antibiotic duration, advising on the cessation of inappropriate antibiotic treatments, and educating other healthcare professionals on the restricted use of certain antibiotics.
When it comes to tackling antimicrobial resistance in the hospital sector, the hospital pharmacist is a key actor in meeting the challenge. However, to achieve the full potential of their role they need to be enabled to do so by health system managers."
EAHP is also urging:
- the European Commission to review again what further roles it can play, alongside Governments and other stakeholders in improving the research environment for new antimicrobials, and,
- improvements in pan-European monitoring and regulation in respect of antibiotic use in other sectors such as agriculture, the veterinary sector and aquaculture.
EAHP's policy statement on antimicrobial resistance is available here.
For further information contact info[at]eahp[dot]eu 00 322 741 6835
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) is an association of national organisations across 34 countries representing hospital pharmacists at European and international levels. More information about the EAHP and its history here.
2. EAHP's policy statement on antimicrobial resistance was agreed by a unanimous vote of its member associations at the General Assembly of the EAHP, June 2014, Sofia. The statement is available here.
3. At least 25,000 people die each year in Europe from infections due to five antibiotic-resistant bacteria (EDCD/EMEA Joint Technical Report. The bacterial challenge: time to react. 2009 EMEA/576176/2009)
4. Antimicrobial stewardship (the appropriate selection, dosing, route of administration, and duration of antimicrobial therapy) in conjunction with infection prevention and control measures prevents or slows the emergence of antimicrobial resistance and transmission of antimicrobial- resistant pathogens. Hospital pharmacists have a prominent role to play in such programmes because of their knowledge and expertise in antibiotic medicines.
5. Requests for interviews with Dr Roberto Frontini can be made by contacting info[at]eahp[dot]eu.