Antimicrobial resistance & stewardship 

We believe that pharmacist expertise and clinical knowledge must be fully utilised to ensure appropriate use of antibiotics and improve stewardship, in order to reduce antimicrobial resistance.


What is antimicrobial or antibiotic resistance (AMR)?

Antimicrobial resistance is when an antibiotic can no longer kill bacteria, because they are resistant to it.

How does it happen?


How are we making a difference?

We are:

  1. Producing professional guidance for our members to support pharmacists in practice. This will signpost to educational training available in this area to improve knowledge and skills.
  2. Working with other royal colleges and key stakeholders to encourage multi-disciplinary team working between health and social care to enhance AMS.
  3. Developing a pharmacy focused national campaign to emphasise the importance of AMS and increase public awareness of AMR.
  4. Working with government to translate recommendations into national commitments for action.

Resources for pharmacists

What is antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)?

Antimicrobial stewardship is the appropriate use of antimicrobials, including antibiotics. The aim of AMS is to reduce the development of antimicrobial resistance, and ensure that antibiotics continue to be an effective treatment against infections.  

What can pharmacists do?

All pharmacists, regardless of setting, have AMS obligations and with over 1.6 million visits each day, community pharmacy teams have a key role in contributing to this target by educating patients and the public on the appropriate, and more importantly inappropriate, use of antimicrobials. 

Find out more about what you can do in our AMS quick reference guide »  

Find out more

What're others saying about our campaign?

Philip Howard, President Elect of the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy:

"We are delighted that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society recognises how  important collaboration across the multidisciplinary team is in the implementation of antimicrobial stewardship. BSAC looks forward to working with the RPS to make sure the medical, nursing and pharmacy profession’s work together, across all clinical settings, to improve the use of antimicrobials.”

Dawne Garrett Professional Lead, Older People & Dementia Care, Royal College of Nursing:

“We welcome the RPS policy on AMS and see a clear role for pharmacists, working collaboratively with their nursing and medical colleagues, in reducing antimicrobial resistance in line with the national AMS strategy. Pharmacists can work with nurses to ensure patients only get the antibiotics appropriate for their condition and they can also provide advice on self-care when antibiotics are not appropriate. All healthcare professionals need to work effectively together to provide antimicrobial stewardship and reduce the threat of antimicrobial resistance.”

Diane Ashiru-Oredope, Lead Pharmacist AMR Programme, Public Health England:

“It is important that a multidisciplinary approach is taken to tackling resistance and pharmacists have a key part to play in this. We welcome the campaign and resources which have been developed to support pharmacists in this fight and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the RPS along with other professional bodies to implement the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategy. PHE develops a number of resources including the TARGET toolkit, e-Bug resources for schools and Antibiotic Guardian website which can help us all work together to tackle this global threat.”

Keith Ridge Chief Pharmaceutical Officer:

“NHS England welcomes the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s campaign. Antimicrobial resistance is a major threat to public health and pharmacists have an important role in making sure antibiotics are used wisely.”

Health Education England recognises the role of pharmacists in antimicrobial stewardship and welcomes the call from RPS for ongoing high quality education and training for pharmacists to keep up to date with the latest evidence base for antibiotics. We have already developed education to support antimicrobial stewardship and sepsis awareness and we will work with RPS and others to ensure that more educational materials are made available to pharmacists and their teams and to other healthcare professionals.

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