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Too many antibiotic prescriptions “inappropriate,” experts

Tuesday February 27th, 2018

At least 20% of GP prescriptions of antibiotics are inappropriate, it was alleged today.

GPs in England are twice as likely as those in the Netherlands to prescribe antibiotics, according to Public Health England.

GP leaders today said the findings were “extremely disappointing.”

Public Health England worked with Imperial College, London, on the project.

They concluded that 40% of cough patients received antibiotics when it was appropriate for only 10%. Antibiotics went to nearly 90% of sinus infection patients and 60% of patients with sore throats when just 13% of these had bacterial infections, the researchers found.

PHE medical director Professor Paul Cosford said: “Using antibiotics when you don’t need them threatens their long term effectiveness and we all have a part to play to ensure they continue to help us, our families and communities in the future.

“This publication highlights the role GPs can play and I urge all practices to look at ways they can reduce their inappropriate prescribing levels to help make sure the antibiotics that save lives today can save lives tomorrow.”

Royal College of GPs chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: “Today’s figures are extremely disappointing but they must not be used as an excuse for criticising GPs who are working their hardest to reduce antibiotic prescribing, whilst grappling with countless other workload pressures and a shortage of GPs.

“If GPs do prescribe antibiotics, it is because, in their expert opinion, they are the most appropriate treatment available, given the unique circumstances of the patients before us. However we are still coming under considerable pressure from some patients who need to understand that antibiotics are not a ‘catch all’ for every illness.”

Tags: NHS | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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