Coalition calls for testing to tackle threat of AMR

Community Pharmacy England has joined a new coalition of industry and health charities, led by the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) and former Health Minister Maggie Throup MP, to highlight missed opportunities to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

Coming together to set out a call to action for the Government and the NHS, the cross-sector coalition has expressed concern over the extended delays to implementing key recommendations on using point-of-care testing (POCT) to tackle AMR, when using proven diagnostic technology can help to reduce prescribing of antibiotics when they are not needed.

The cross-sector statement urges action in the short, medium and long term to ensure that health systems prioritise funding and adoption of POCT.

Read the cross-sector statement

Helen Dent, Interim CEO of BIVDA said:

“It has been almost eight years since the O’Neill Review made its findings on using rapid diagnostics to tackle AMR and very little progress has been made since then. It is imperative that we use everything at our disposal to tackle AMR – and that must start with the technologies that are available right now to help reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing. COVID-19 gave a blueprint for rapid action – it shows there is no excuse for the long delays in implementing recommendations that can help slow the progress of AMR.”

Our Director of NHS Services, Alastair Buxton, said:

“Community Pharmacy England is keen to explore how the Pharmacy First service can be expanded to provide more support for patients, while maintaining excellent antimicrobial stewardship. Proof of concept pilots have already demonstrated that community pharmacies can safely and effectively provide C-Reactive Protein testing using POCT testing technology, so a logical development would be piloting community pharmacist management of lower respiratory tract infections.”