Why is handwashing important?

By Professor Ash Soni, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Every day we carry millions of bacteria, some of which are naturally found on our bodies and some of which are germs that can make us ill or infect others.

Every day we have contact with people who don’t always wash their hands after going to the toilet, or preparing food.

Our survey on handwashing shows 84% of British adults don’t wash their hands for long enough to clean them of bacteria which can cause infections such as upset stomachs or pneumonia, or viruses which can cause colds and flu.

Regular handwashing with soap and water is the single best way to protect yourself and others from infections. The recommended time to spend washing your hands is 20 seconds, as long as it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday to you’ twice. Read more Why is handwashing important?

Help to stop antimicrobial resistance!

Dr Jacqueline Sneddonby Dr Jacqueline Sneddon, Project Lead for Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group, part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Dr Jacqueline Sneddon highlights opportunities for community pharmacy teams in Scotland to support European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) 2016 and contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Read more Help to stop antimicrobial resistance!

How can pharmacists fight antibiotic resistance?

jaynelawrenceby Professor Jayne Lawrence, Chief Scientist, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Antibiotic resistance occurs when medicines are no longer effective in treating bacterial infections. This is potentially catastrophic, as much of modern medicine would become impossible without antibiotics.  Simple infections would become life-threatening and common surgery would become unsafe.  Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections, yet they are often used to treat them. Pharmacists are on the frontline of fighting antibiotic resistance, but how can we make a difference in practice? Read more How can pharmacists fight antibiotic resistance?

A global approach to antibiotic resistance

Picture Harpal Dhillon Chair RPS AMR groupBy Harpal Dhillon, Chair of the RPS Antimicrobial Expert Advisory Group

Bringing any new drug to market is a time consuming, costly and high-risk endeavour that typically takes 10 years, at an average development cost of about $1.3 billion U.S.

Even then, only one in five drugs tested in people is approved and reaches the market.  For antibiotics, the economic considerations are more challenging than for many other medical areas.  In addition to the unique scientific and regulatory challenges in antibiotic development, pricing and reimbursement do not reflect the true value of these life-saving drugs. Read more A global approach to antibiotic resistance

Antimicrobial resistance – how you can make the difference


By Neal Patel, Head of Corporate Communications, RPS

This week the Royal Pharmaceutical Society hosted a national Antimicrobial Summit in partnership with the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Nursing, and in collaboration with Public Health England and the Department of Health.

This event recognised the fact that antimicrobial resistance is everyone’s problem and will require collective as well as individual action to meet the public health challenge resistance poses. Read more Antimicrobial resistance – how you can make the difference

Drug-resistant TB

Toby Capstickby Toby Capstick, Lead Respiratory Pharmacist & Member of the British Thoracic Society MDRTB Clinical Advice Service

Last night’s  Inside Out report for BBC One London Tackling drug-resistant TB in London described how tuberculosis is on the increase in London. A serious concern is that an increasing number of patients are being identified with strains of TB that are resistant to the most effective antibiotics used to treat the disease.

Rates of TB in the UK as a whole have remained relatively steady since 2005. They had risen over the previous two decades, in contrast to most other developed countries where TB rates had remained stable or had fallen. Public Health England reported that there were a total of 8,751 cases of TB in the UK in 2012, and resistance to at least one antibiotic was found in almost 1 in every 13 people diagnosed with TB. Read more Drug-resistant TB