FASFR Federația Asociațiilor Studenților Farmaciști din România

Antibioticum Position Paper

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a constantly growing threat to the Public health, with more and more cases every year. In this range, aspects of Food Safety, as well as Global Socio- Economic Development are included. The main factors contributing to this process are excessive and irrational use of antibiotics for both human and veterinary treatments, lack of sanitary institutions management, as well as non-adherence to the therapeutic schemes. Thus, infectious diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis or gonorrhea have become harder to treat.

When evaluating AMR parameters, Romania is ranked first in Europe, fact which was highlighted in the data published by WHO and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)*.

In this alarming context which threatens everyone’s life, The Federation of Pharmacy Students’ Associations from Romania (FASFR, Romania), together with its 8 member Local Associations, organized between the 4th and the 10th of November 2019 the “Antibioticum” National Campaign. The main purpose of this campaign was to inform the general public about antibiotics, raise the awareness concerning the risks and the consequences of unadvised use of antibiotics and extensive promotion of methods through which everyone could prevent this phenomenon.

To better understand the causes of irrational use of antibiotics in Romania, a survey was released and distributed to the public, with the help of our Local Associations and using online platforms as well. This helped us generate a national statistics, based on responses from 3381 people.

The results are mainly positive and encouraging. Some of the conclusions of the survey are the following:

  • 86.9% do not use antibiotics when they feel that they caught a cold;
  • Only 14.3% would ask for an antibiotic used in the past if the symptoms were
  • 88.3% do know that prescribed antibiotics should not be used by another person in case
    of a similar condition;
  • 86.7% do know that the treatment should only be stopped after administering the entire
    prescribed quantity, according to the treatment scheme.

This way, we can appreciate that a significant segment of the questioned population knows the basic rules applicable when taking an antibiotic and follows the advice received from qualified medical personnel.

On the other hand, concerning results were obtained when people were asked what was the meaning of the term “antibiogram” and its use for the treatment. Only 48.9% knew what an antibiogram is, while 4 out of 10 people have never made any test in order to detect the sensitivity of the pathogenic agent to the prescribed drug.

As future health professionals, we aim to highlight the following facts, specifically regarding the high number of antibiotics consumers among Romanian population and the prescription of this class of drugs without previously checking the bacterial origins of the infection and performing an antibiogram. This is a very important step for correctly identifying the pathogen and for choosing the most effective and safe treatment, regarding both patient recovery and prevention of AMR, while extending the opportunity to successfully use the treatment again, if necessary and recommended.

We should make a moral commitment to care about the future generations and actively and constantly be involved in improving health in our communities. We urge the whole healthcare professionals community to grant a higher importance to this subject, to follow all the steps needed to correctly diagnose and recommend proper treatment, alongside with
offering all the information, details and indications necessary to the patient. We encourage both the competent authorities and us, healthcare professionals to strengthen this aspect of practice.