Create great expectations in primary and hospital care - Antibiotic Awareness Week 18-24 November 2013

18 November 2013

Marking the start of Antibiotic Awareness Week, NPS MedicineWise is urging all health professionals to pledge their commitment to preserve the miracle of antibiotics and re-shape consumer expectations of these lifesavings medicines.

Antibiotic resistance is globally recognised as one of the greatest threats to human health today and Clinical Advisor at NPS MedicineWise, Dr Philippa Binns, says all health professionals need to be champions for the safe and appropriate use of antibiotics.

“The overuse and misuse of antibiotics drives the spread of resistance in the community. So whether you prescribe, dispense, or provide advice about antibiotics, you have a responsibility to preserve the miracle of these life-saving medicines,” says Dr Binns.

“Over the past 18 months, we’ve been asking Australian consumers to take a pledge to use antibiotics safely and appropriately – more than 35,000 people answered our call. Now we’re asking every health professional in Australia to make that same public commitment.”

Launched in early November 2013, the NPS MedicineWise antibiotic resistance fighter pledge has already seen around 3,100 health professionals publicly commit to preserve the miracle of antibiotics.

The interactive online tool asks health professionals to champion appropriate antibiotic use and apply the principles of the MINDME antimicrobial stewardship creed in their practice. By entering their postcode, each person who takes the pledge is helping to map the spread of antibiotic resistance fighters across Australia.

“With around 19 million prescriptions written in Australia every year, we are among the highest users of antibiotics in the developed world. If 25,000 health professionals pledge to preserve the miracle of antibiotics, we will be nearer our target to bring Australia in line with the OECD country average for antibiotic prescribing,” says Dr Binns.

“And if we unite as a community of health professionals, committed to changing our own behaviour, then we can bring Australian consumers – and their expectations of quality care – along with us.

“Patient expectations can drive inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. And from our research with consumers, we know that many people ask for, or expect to be prescribed, antibiotics when they have a cold or flu.

“Changing these expectations is a significant part of our challenge in addressing antibiotic resistance but there are simple things all health professionals can do to shape the way we think about and use antibiotics.

“Take the NPS MedicineWise pledge, put yourself on the national map of antibiotic resistance fighters, and then print and display your personalised antibiotic resistance fighter certificate in your workplace.

“Through your public commitment to fight antibiotic resistance in your practice, your patients and customers will expect you to be a champion for the appropriate use of antibiotics when prescribing, dispensing, offering advice or answering questions about these life-saving medicines.”

Take the pledge and join the fight against antibiotic resistance at www.nps.org.au/hppledge

Find out more at www.nps.org.au/antibiotics







ENDS

Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS MedicineWise enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

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