No need for pharmacist antibiotic Rx
QUEENSLAND’S pharmacist prescribing trial should be redirected to focus on chronic conditions rather than the provision of antimicrobial medications, a NSW hospital pharmacist believes.
Speaking to Pharmacy Daily, NSW Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist Network Chair, Aryan Shahabi-Sirjani, warned the trial could increase antimicrobial resistance in Australia.
Shahabi-Sirjani argued that while he supported the expansion of pharmacists’ scope of practice into areas where there are gaps in health services, he said the prescribing of antibiotics for urinary tract infections (UTIs) was not appropriate.
“Our concern is with antimicrobial resistance,” he said.
“There isn’t really a need or gap in practice where we need community pharmacists prescribing antibiotics.
“There are certainly other areas where community pharmacists should be prescribing [such as] in chronic care cases where patients probably don’t need to see the GP for a repeat script.
“But really UTIs are acute care and mistreating UTIs can have consequences on patient care, and of course antimicrobial resistance has life-long consequences on both individual patients and the community, so we don’t think we should be expanding antimicrobial prescribing to pharmacists.”
Shahabi-Sirjani added that other jurisdictions where antibiotics have been available over-the-counter, have seen “disproportionate levels of resistance”, noting that trimethorpim, one of the medications that has been approved for use in trial already has a 20% resistance rate within the community.