Royal Pharmaceutical Society encourages UK-wide antibiotic amnesty
The Society warns that unsafe disposal of medicines can increase the spread of resistance genes among bacteria, putting human and animal health at risk.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is encouraging NHS organisations across the UK to set up ‘antibiotic amnesties’, in which unwanted antibiotics can be safely returned to suitable sites — including community pharmacies — for disposal.
The call came ahead of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, which will run from 18–24 November 2022 and has adopted the theme ‘Preventing antimicrobial resistance together’.
In a statement published on 9 November 2022, the RPS said: “Unsafe disposal [of antimicrobials] can contaminate the environment and increase the spread of resistance genes among bacteria, putting human and animal health at risk.”
The Society has created a toolkit aimed to help local healthcare providers organise an antibiotic amnesty campaign. It includes advice on how to work with local bodies, such as clinical commissioning groups, local pharmaceutical committees and health boards; how to engage local staff, volunteers and politicians; and how to promote the campaign through social and traditional media.
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