Pharmacist beliefs about antimicrobial resistance and impacts on antibiotic supply: A multinational survey

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JAC-Antimicrobial Resistance


Background: Pharmacists have important antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) roles yet limited literature exists on pharmacists' knowledge and beliefs about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and antimicrobials and how these beliefs influence antimicrobial supply in different countries. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was disseminated to pharmacists around the world via the Commonwealth Pharmacists' Association and related networks. Data were collected on demographics, antibiotic supply practices, and knowledge and beliefs about AMR. Results: A total of 546 pharmacists responded from 59 countries, most commonly from Africa (41%) followed by Asia (26%) and Oceania (22%). Respondents supplied a mean of 46±81 antibiotic prescriptions/week, 73%±35% of which were given in response to a prescription. Overall, 60.2% dispensed antibiotics at least once without a prescription. Respondents had good knowledge (mean 9.6±1.3 (out of 12), and held positive beliefs about AMR [mean 3.9±0.6 (out of 5)]. Knowledge about antibiotics and beliefs about AMR were positively correlated. The odds of supplying antibiotics without a prescription were 7.4 times higher among respondents from lower income countries [adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=7.42, 95% CI 4.16-13.24]. Conversely, more positive AMR beliefs were associated with a lower odds of supplying antibiotics without a prescription (AOR=0.91, 95% CI 0.86-0.95). Conclusions: Most pharmacists had the good knowledge about antibiotics and positive beliefs about AMR. These beliefs were influenced by knowledge, work setting, and country income. A proportion of respondents provided antibiotics without a prescription; the likelihood of this occurring was higher in those who held more negative beliefs about AMR.



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