Antibiotic Awareness Week in the United States is November 18-24, 2020. The annual awareness event began as a way to highlight the usage of antibiotics and share information about the lifesaving tools that are critical to treating infections. The use of antibiotics in the U.S. is relatively high, so it is important for patients to understand these drugs. In 2015, almost 270 million antibiotic prescriptions were written, and antibiotic usage is widespread in the U.S.
From sharing side effect information to recommending appropriate probiotics, pharmacists play an important role in antibiotic awareness. Independent pharmacists have more patient touchpoints on average each year and more opportunities to speak to patients about antibiotics than their primary care physicians. Keep reading to learn how to make the most of Antibiotics Awareness Week for your independent pharmacy and community.
Educate Your Community
A pharmacist’s time is scarce, and there are not enough hours in the day to talk extensively with each patient. Consider the following methods for educating your community on antibiotics during Antibiotic Awareness Week.
- Add signage in your pharmacy with antibiotics facts
- Include informational brochures or flyers in shopping bags with information on antibiotics
- Partner with local physicians and businesses to increase antibiotic awareness
Promote Your Pharmacy
Antibiotics Awareness Week offers a chance for independent pharmacies to promote their business in the community. Pharmacists are among some of the most trusted professionals in America and raising awareness for your business and services can increase foot traffic to your store.
Ensure your community is aware of the educational opportunities and clinical services available at your independent pharmacy. Consider implementing the following strategies as they apply to your business and community.
- Share marketing materials and promotional items with local physicians to build partnerships
- Create materials detailing the medication counseling services available in your pharmacy
- Encourage word of mouth by starting a loyalty program
- Reach out to local news stations and media outlets and offer to share important information for Antibiotics Awareness Week
Share on Social Media
Social media is an impactful way to promote your business and share valuable information during Antibiotics Awareness Week. The CDC provides a list of ideas for spreading the word about antibiotics awareness, including hashtags to use on social media. Let your community know any events going on in your pharmacy during the week, share educational information on antibiotics, highlight promotions or specials, and spotlight relevant OTC items to build awareness.
Leverage OTC Items
Antibiotics have a significant list of potential side effects, including nutrient depletion that impacts patient gut health. For this reason, many antibiotics should be taken with a probiotic. Antibiotics Awareness Week offers a great opportunity to promote your over-the-counter items and education patients to improve patient outcomes.
When patients pick up antibiotic prescriptions, train your pharmacists, technicians, and staff to recommend appropriate OTC items. Probiotics and supplements can help manage the potential side effects of antibiotics, and you can bring in additional revenue for your store.
Independent pharmacists have many opportunities to share valuable information with patients on a regular basis. As a trusted healthcare provider in your community, patients in your area rely on the medication information and education you provide.