Antimicrobial resistance – how we can help you

By Professor Ash Soni, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Decades of inappropriate use of antibiotics, combined with a dearth of development and discovery of antimicrobials, has led to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) emerging as one of the most critical risks to global public health requiring action by governments around the world.

Each and every one of us has a role to play in meeting the challenge set by the UK Government in 2016 of reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescribing by 50%.

That’s why this year we focused providing professional resources to support you to help protect antibiotics for the future. Most are on our AMR hubpage but here’s a quick round-up in case you missed them:


A great foundation for your local strategies, this document emphasises that collaboration across the multidisciplinary team is vital to ensure a consistent approach. It also provides a unique outline of the benefit and contribution pharmacists can make to reducing AMR across all settings.

Quick reference guide

An excellent pocket guide for community pharmacy teams on how advising on the prevention and self-care of minor ailments and supporting appropriate use of antibiotics. It’s also got a great section on providing reassuring advice on how long common infections can be expected to last.

AMS Portal

This brand new hub page will keep you up to date with the latest evidence base and guidelines antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). It will help ensure you are empowered to confidently contribute to local plans, prescribing decisions, patient counselling and advice on antibiotic use and AMR.

Infection prevention

Our survey of the handwashing habits of the public showed that 84% don’t wash their hands for long enough to help prevent infections.  We invited the nation to time the recommended 20 seconds they should spend handwashing by singing ‘Happy Birthday to you’. This campaign hit record highs for media coverage of the profession.

Watch pharmacists in action

Watch our popular video which showcases how pharmacists who visit care homes, community pharmacists, hospital pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists are all making a huge difference to preventing AMR.

Local events – coming soon

Keep an eye out in the New Year for an RPS event on AMR in your area. You’ll get an update on AMR, hear what’s happening locally, get to meet new colleagues and see how you can contribute to protecting and conserving antibiotics.

The PJ will also be publishing a literature review in the New Year, which will be a really useful resource for all of you interested in AMR.

These are just some of our campaign highlights.  I hope I’ve given you a taste of how we want the profession to shine and take leadership in this vital area of healthcare  – and how we are working on your behalf to ensure other organisations, Government and the public all understand that pharmacists are key players in taking forward the agenda.

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