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Pharex HealthCorp PR Department
January 30, 2012
Educating patients, doctors important in combating antimicrobial resistance
Combating the dreaded antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – a condition in which microorganisms that cause infections and diseases change in ways that render medications like antibiotics ineffective for treatment – relies on educating doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and patients to ensure patient safety in and out of the hospital setting.
According to Dr. Armando Crisostomo, chairman of the Philippine Alliance for Patient Safety, raising the level of awareness among doctors and patients on medical issues that compromise patient safety such as AMR is imperative to reduce harm to patients who seek treatment for their conditions.
“AMR can result in resistance of the patient’s infection to the standard antimicrobials that used be effective against them. Because there is no response, infection can worsen, which could be fatal,” explained Dr. Crisostomo.
AMR is caused by the underutilization of antibiotics – for example, a doctor gives the correct antibiotic, but in a dose that is too low. Or it could be that a doctor gives the correct dosage, but because the drug is expensive, the patient can’t afford to buy the number of medicines required. In some cases, the patient discontinues his drug treatment when he feels better or when the symptoms are no longer present.
Overuse of prescribed antibiotics is also another factor. “Sometimes doctors tend to overprescribe drugs because they want to make sure that all bacteria are eliminated. So this is the reason why AMR contributes to healthcare-associated or hospital-acquired infections. That’s why doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals have to be at the forefront of promoting antimicrobial resistance awareness,” said Dr. Crisostomo.
Dr. Crisostomo shared that programs like the Pharex Masunurin Advocacy Campaign are also an effective means to educate doctors and patients because it reinforces the importance of compliance. The Masunurin Advocacy Campaign from leading generic brand Pharex HealthCorp aims to address the root cause of AMR, which is inappropriate use of antibiotics. The campaign aims to instill among Filipinos that apart from adhering to prescribed medications, they should be cautious on the quality of the medicines they use while still being within their reach.
“As a pioneer in uni-branded medicines, Pharex has always placed the well-being of the Filipino patient first and foremost. The Masunurin Advocacy Campaign is a testament to Pharex’s unwavering dedication to protecting the health of our customers. It embodies our concrete commitment to support the battle against antimicrobial resistance,” says Tomas Marcelo Agana III, president and CEO of Pharex HealthCorp.
Specifically, the company has addressed this through the Pharex Masunurin Value Pack or Pharex MVP, composed of the company’s first-line antibiotics, Amoxicillin, Cefalexin, Ciprofloxacin and Cloxacillin that have been repackaged to make adherence to antimicrobial therapy easier and more convenient to patients. Each Pharex MVP is a complete five-day treatment program for mild to moderate infections.
The Pharex MVP’s new, resealable foil packaging with Zip-lock is actually the first of its kind in the country, ensuring that the high quality of the Pharex antibiotics is kept preserved while ensuring convenience so patients can carry their medicines wherever they go. And because they are from Pharex, they are priced affordably – 25% to 50% lower than Pharex’s regularly packaged products. This guarantees that patients are able to purchase the full dosage as prescribed.
Teaching patients on the use of high-quality generic medicines like Pharex MVP is important, said Dr. Crisostomo. “It is good that the Masunurin Compliance Pack is packaged already to ensure compliance, and most importantly, affordable. This answers the issue of ensuring greater access to quality healthcare for patients,” he added.Educating doctors and patients is the first step to patient safety, said Dr. Crisostomo. “We have to develop a ‘Safe Culture’ in order to achieve patient safety. We should recognize the importance of educating our doctors and most especially our patients because they have the right to know everything there is to know about their condition and its corresponding treatment. By educating them, we are empowering them.”