Antibiotic shortages are fueling one of the world’s biggest killers
In countries worldwide, shortages of first-line antibiotics often lead to overuse of substitutes, increasing the risk of antimicrobial resistance developing.
The overuse of antibiotics is widely recognized as one of the main factors contributing to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), often called the “silent pandemic,” but what is less well-known is that shortages of antibiotics also play a role in fueling it.
Scarce supplies of pediatric amoxicillin, used to treat Strep A, made headlines in the UK late last year, as a surge of infections left at least 19 children dead. From being an outlier, such shortfalls are common and pervasive, affecting countries across the world, and their consequences for individuals’ health and AMR’s spread can be dire.
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