Establishing a pharmacist–prescriber partnership in publicly funded primary healthcare clinics to optimisantibiotic prescribing in the Western Cape: An exploratory study
Van Hecke, Oliver L.
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Promoting evidence-based antibiotic prescribing through successful antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes is critical to preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics for common infections in primary care. This requires a coordinated multidisciplinary effort. Such pharmacist–prescriber partnerships have been effective in high-income countries (HICs). Yet, evidence generated in such countries is not always applicable because of different social determinants of health. Methods: A multidisciplinary workshop was conducted with pharmacists and clinicians (doctors, nurses) on community-based antibiotic stewardship, the purpose of which was to explore how and where such partnerships might work in publicly funded primary care clinics in the greater Cape Metro region. Results: Participants perceived that promoting effective AMS was a priority for South African primary healthcare. However, it was clear that there are many hurdles to overcome working in settings that are relatively resource-poor. Prescribing guidelines needed to be harmonised. Participants felt that staff training on the principles of AMS should be mandatory.