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Antibiotic stewardship opportunities in hospital pharmacy

Written by | 5 Apr 2024 | Pharmacy

28th EAHP Congress Highlights

The theme of the 28th EAHP congress was Sustainable healthcare – opportunities and strategies. Management of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and good antimicrobial stewardship are two important measures that contribute to the wider sustainability agenda. Two posters illustrated ways in which these issues are being tackled in hospitals.

Pappalardo and colleagues  (Catania, Italy; poster 4CPS-015) described how they had used the World Health Organisation AWaRe tool to evaluate the antibiotic usage patterns in seven suburban hospitals as a way of assessing the performance of local antibiotic stewardship initiatives.

The AWaRe tool classifies antimicrobials into three groups: Access, Watch and Reserve.  WHO guidance recommends treatment for a range of common infections, agents from the first group (‘Access’) in the first instance. In fact, WHO has set a target that at least 60% of overall country-level antibiotic use should be from the Access group by 2023, to contain rising resistance and make antibiotic use safer and more effective.

The researchers in Catania found that the majority (75%) of antimicrobials used in their  Local Health Authority were in the ‘Watch’ category. They concluded that further efforts were required by the Antibiotic Stewardship Team to improve the appropriate use of antibiotics.

Fésüs and colleagues (Debrecen, Hungary; poster 4CPS-036) undertook a retrospective study of antibiotic prescribing for patients hospitalised with urinary tract infections (UTIs). The results showed that of 185 patients who received antibiotics for UTIs 77(42%) did not meet the European Association of Urology (EAU) diagnostic criteria and 46 of these were classified as misdiagnoses. Furthermore, fewer than 50% of the initial empirical therapies were guideline-adherent.  The authors concluded that there was a relatively high rate of non-confirmed UTIs and that written protocols may be crucial in reducing misdiagnosis and in optimising antibiotic use.


The 28th EAHP Congress took place in Bordeaux, France 20th-22nd March 2024. The congress theme was: Sustainable healthcare – opportunities and strategies.

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