To coincide with World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, RPS Antimicrobial Expert Advisory Group Chair Dr Jacqui Sneddon has appeared on BBC's News Channel.
Dr Sneddon offered her expert opinion on the programme in response to a report from the UK Health Security Agency which triggered news reports to call antimicrobial resistance (AMR) the ‘hidden pandemic’.
She informed viewers that we shouldn’t be prescribing antibiotics for minor illnesses, and only using them when they are ‘really necessary’.
“Choose the right ones and use the right dose and for the right duration,” she explained. “Some minor illnesses are due to viruses rather than bacteria, so the key thing is to seek advice from your local community pharmacy who will give you advice on how to alleviate the symptoms.”
Dr Sneddon went on to explain that the World Health Organisation has categorised antibiotics into three categories: ones we should be using as first choice, those we can use for some specific, more serious infections, and those we should be keeping in reserve.
"We need to be using antibiotics more wisely," she added.
Listen to our podcast on AMR with Dame Sally Davies.
See the full BBC interview with Dr Jacqui Sneddon: