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The Importance of Pharmacists in Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs

A conversation with Anna Legreid Dopp, Pharm. D.

Antimicrobial stewardship, the effort to measure and improve how antibiotics are prescribed by clinicians and used by patients, is one of the most important issues today when it comes to antimicrobial resistance.

Optimizing the use of antibiotics is critical to effectively treat infections, protect patients from harms caused by unnecessary antibiotic use, and combat antibiotic resistance.

Previous studies have demonstrated that when institutions utilize antibiotic stewardship programs, they see a decrease in not only antibiotic use, but cost and associated infections as well.

When it comes to implementing these programs, pharmacists are of critical importance, as they are core members of the team and have an abundance of knowledge.

Contagion recently sat down with Anna Legreid Dopp, Pharm. D, senior director of clinical guidelines and quality improvement at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, to discuss the importance of pharmacists in antimicrobial resistance.

“Pharmacists are medication experts,” Dopp said. “They understand everything there is to know about the medication use cycle, from procuring the medication, to having it prescribed, to its being administered, to monitoring the patient and then evaluating how their program is working.”

“Pharmacists bring knowledge that’s unique and adds a lot of value to antimicrobial stewardship programs.”