Because of the pandemic, many annual conferences and trade shows have been canceled or modified to be presented online via Zoom or other means. The North Carolina Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) organization held their 2020 conference virtually and Southern Pharmacy, as a leading sponsor, was involved in many ways. Our sales and marketing team provided online Q&A sessions via video and Marybeth Terry recorded a short video for our virtual booth to introduce Southern Pharmacy to attendees.

The highlight of Southern Pharmacy’s involvement in the conference had Leigh Holcomb, PharmD, BCGP and Erin Marriott, RPh virtually co-present at the conference. Although they were separated from the attendees and each other, videoconferencing technologies allowed attendees to learn and participate.

Leigh and Erin’s presentation on antibiotic stewardship and how to implement this important initiative into PACE programs will help raise awareness about this critical topic. It is estimated that 30-50% of antibiotics prescribed are not necessary or appropriate. These initiatives are important to ensure the proper antibiotic therapy is used when it is actually needed. By 2050, we may see deaths due to antimicrobial resistant infections surpass deaths due to cancer and diabetes combined. Antibiotic stewardship programs are essential to reduce antimicrobial resistance, while also preventing adverse effects due to unnecessary antibiotic use. The emergency room sees approximately one out of every five drug-related adverse effects stem from antibiotic use. Regulating antibiotic use will ultimately help save lives. Thank you to Leigh and Erin for sharing your expertise and valuable knowledge!