Greater access to information reduces unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions

How doctors prescribe drugs could reduce problems associated with overprescription.


Antibiotics are often the go-to prescription for many primary care cases, but researchers estimate that as much as 23% of these prescriptions could be inappropriate. Higher antibiotic consumption can lead to drugs becoming ineffective at combatting infections.

In 2013 the Chief Medical Officer for England exhibited a 5-year intend to combat this. One part in this plan is a publicly funded service making a site that gives doctors recommending information by training and by month.

Five years on from the initiation of this procedure, scientists set out to decide whether there was a measurable effect from the antimicrobial resistance strategy on generally speaking anti-infection recommending in England.

The study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy suggests that providing more information about how doctors prescribe drugs could reduce problems associated with overprescription.

Researchers calculated the volume of antibiotic prescriptions using annual prescription data from 1998 to 2016 and monthly prescribing data from October 2010 to June 2018. After several years with a stable rate of antibiotic prescribing, there was a downward change after 2013. There was then a decrease of 14% in the number of antibiotic prescriptions between 2012 and 2017. This was against a background of increasing population size.

In spite of the fact that scientists can’t firmly attribute causality for the decrease in recommending to the system, the analysts here believe that the magnitude and timing of the progressions are noteworthy. The considerable change pursued an extensive stretch of generally static anti-microbial recommending.

One of the researchers, Ben Goldacre said, “We are delighted to report a substantial shift in practice, starting in 2013, with 9.7 million fewer prescriptions in the past year that would have been expected at pre-2013 trends. However, there is still much work to be done on disseminating best practice.”

The study is published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

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