Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance

Lauren Floris, PharmD; David Cluck, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP, AAHIVP; Abby Singleton, PharmD, BCPS


US Pharmacist. 2020;45(3):HS-10--HS-16. 

In This Article

The Pharmacist's Role

Pharmacists serve as medication experts on healthcare teams, and given the rapid expansion of the pharmacist's professional role, they are optimally positioned to assess treatment necessity and appropriate antibiotic selection. Their knowledge of antibiotic mechanisms of action and strategies used by resistant bacteria enables pharmacists to make evidence-based decisions about drug therapy even without formal training in infectious diseases. The Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists recognizes that every pharmacist can contribute to AMS.[30]

Objective data have been published that illustrate the impact pharmacists have on the use of antimicrobials. A literature review that investigated the clinical and economic impact of pharmacist-led interventions related to antimicrobial use showed a decrease in antibiotic costs up to 95%, as well as reductions in readmission, mortality, and infection rates.[31] Selection of the most appropriate agent positively affects patient outcomes and ensures the preservation of available antimicrobial resources.