Background: Dispensing and prescribing antibiotics is inappropriate in many of the countries in the European Union, including Spain, and a threat to the population’s health. To tackle the growth of antimicrobial resistance, the Happy Patient project was set up under the sponsorship of the European Commission.
Aim: To ascertain the characteristics of dispensing antibiotic therapy in Spanish community pharmacies.
To compare the variability between different Spanish community pharmacies.
Methods: The Audit Project Odense® methodology was used to find out how antibiotics were dispensed in community pharmacies. Pharmacists taking part were asked to record for five consecutive days between the months of February and April 2022 the actions performed during the dispensing of oral antibiotics for human use and for the treatment of acute infections.
Results: A total population of 573 patients (59.9% female) of all age groups were interviewed. The patients were 83.6% aware of the purpose for which the antibiotic was prescribed and the most requested antibiotic was amoxicillin followed by amoxicillin with clavulanic acid.
In 15% of dispensations, a triple safety check was completed: interactions, contraindications and allergies. The pharmacist rarely contacted the prescriber but when she did, the prescriber altered the prescription.
In 62.3% of cases, information about the duration of treatment was provided and amoxicillin with and without clavulanic acid was the antibiotic dispensed for which most warnings about side effects were issued. In 24.6% of dispensations there was no advice given at all. In 81.7% the pharmacist agreed with the prescribed treatment.
Conclusions: This audit can be a starting point to improve clinical practice and reduce antibiotic resistance. It highlights the need for safety checks in regard to the use of antimicrobials and suggests verifying dispensing to correct errors that may jeopardize the safety and effectiveness of antimicrobial therapy.