27 Mar, 13 | by kuppell
European healthcare system managers and policy makers need to take proactive measures to meet the growing problem of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and the emergence of extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) warns Dr Roberto Frontini, President of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP). Following on from World TB Day (March 24th) Dr Frontini said it was a time to pause and reconsider the policy options and highlighted five hospital pharmacy related measures currently available to policy-makers:
- Ensure hospital pharmacists are involved in medicines counselling for tuberculosis patients starting new courses of treatment in order to improve adherence
- Expand the role of hospital pharmacists in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring for patients with drug-resistant TB on long term courses of treatment
- Concentrate efforts on improving the systems for communication between hospital and community based healthcare professionals to deliver integrated and joined up care for TB patients
- Give hospital pharmacists a leading role in antimicrobial stewardship to help prevent further resistance to existing antibiotic treatments
- Redouble attention on the provision of fresh incentives for the development of new antibiotic treatments for the treatment of TB
‘The evidence is stark. There are over 380,000 reported new cases of TB in Europe each year, and the growing problem of multi-drug resistant TB is exacerbated by people not continuing their treatment for the full six months. By ensuring all professions are able to maximise the contribution of their expertise, we can reverse some of the concerning trends in the area of tuberculosis’, said Dr Frontini.
In support of the fight against TB, the BMJ Group has made its latest tuberculosis related content and products free until the end of April (www.rebelmouse.com/Thorax).