Scientists’ AMR warning over government’s new ‘pharmacy-first’ policy – letter
Dear Prime Minister,
We applaud the government’s initiative of empowering community pharmacists to prescribe medicines for some common illnesses in order to reduce GP workload, cut waiting lists and alleviate the pressure on the NHS.
However, we strongly caution the government that unless it is implemented with due consideration given to antibiotic resistance, such an initiative could lead to unintended consequences that would reverse the gains it makes.
Antibiotic resistance describes the situation when bacterial infections no longer respond to the antibiotic medicines used against them. It has already been estimated to cause over one million deaths worldwide in 2019; if no action is taken, this toll may rise to 10 million by 2050, resulting in a cumulative cost of $100 trillion (equal to last year’s global GDP) to the world economy.
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