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Highlands join Antibiotic Awareness Day

By Tom Ramage

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NHS Highland will be raising awareness about the 'judicious' use of antibiotics on Monday (November 18).

European Antibiotic Awareness Day is an annual European public health programme which aims at raising awareness about the threat of antibiotic resistance.

Monday is the day
Monday is the day

NHS Highland will launch of a video, ‘Antibiotics and You’ released by Talking Medicines, in partnership with the Pebble Trust. The patient-focused video explains important facts about adherence to antibiotic regimes, when to take antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, the safe use and disposal of medicines and protecting the environment.

Several initiatives are being devised to minimise the prescribing of antibiotics, addressing concerns, expressed internationally, about the emergence of drug resistant bacteria. Budgetary pressures created by expenditure on unnecessary medicines and harm to wildlife and the environment are two further consequences of over-prescribing.

Sharon Pfleger, consultant in Pharmaceutical Public Health, NHS Highland said; “Taking antibiotics when you do not need them may mean they will not work for you, your family and others in the future. By taking advice from your doctor or pharmacist on whether you need antibiotics or not is the first step in helping to keep antibiotics working, our NHS funded and our environment healthy.”

“The latest data confirms that across the European Union the number of patients infected by resistant bacteria is increasing so it is vital to spread the message to health professionals and the public that we all have a role to play in helping to keep antibiotics effective for the use of future generations.”

She and her colleagues from NHS Highland are part of a multi-agency partnership, the One Health Breakthrough Partnership, which is active in raising awareness about the impact of pharmaceuticals – including antibiotics - in the environment.

Ground-breaking work is underway to minimise the harmful impact of pharmaceuticals discharged into waste water treatment plants. Medicines are increasingly being found in waterways in concentrations 10-20 times greater than they had been 20 years ago.

Enabling patients to connect with their medicines through an app is an approach taken by Talking Medicines. Their Medsmart® App, aimed at users of medicines, helps people manage their own medicines and it supports additional educational content including the ‘Antibiotics and You’ video www.gomedsmart/antibioticsandyou


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