With its «Antibiotics: Use wisely, take precisely» campaign, the Confederation informs the public about the careful use of antibiotics. Last fall – to coincide with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Antibiotic Awareness Week – a nationwide campaign to return unused antibiotics was launched. It was implemented in coordination with the Swiss Pharmacists’ Association (pharmaSuisse), the Swiss Medical Association (FMH), the Swiss Dental Association (SSO), the Swiss Veterinary Society (SVS) and the federal government (FOPH, FSVO, FOAG and FOEN).
People were called upon to return antibiotics that were no longer needed to where they had obtained them, whether it be a pharmacy or a practice. The focus of the campaign was not on the amount of antibiotics that were returned but rather on raising awareness about, and the personal confrontation with, the problem. The specific instruction to «Return them now. For the benefit of your health and the environment» was a call to action aimed at addressing members of the public on an individual basis. Roughly 300 pharmacies, medical and veterinary practices from all regions of Switzerland supported the idea and participated.
We checked in with pharmacies about their customers’ reactions to the campaign to return unused antibiotics. In short video interviews, three pharmacists tell us about their experiences. The film is an impressive account of how they use their great expertise and commitment in everyday life to educate their customers about the topic and thereby support the efforts against it.