Antibiotic stewardship challenges in an evolving health-care market in China
Overuse of antibiotics has attracted increasing concerns globally. Excessive use of antibiotics is believed to be associated with the development of antimicrobial resistance, which can seriously jeopardise health-care services and patient outcomes.
An Article by Houyu Zhao and colleagues —one of the largest studies ever conducted in China—published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases, revealed a concerningly high proportion of inappropriate prescriptions of antibiotics. More than 51% of antibiotic prescriptions (almost 2 million per year) from 139 public hospitals for outpatient visits were found to be inappropriate, compared with 15·3% that were deemed appropriate. China has 12 436 secondary and tertiary hospitals.
The total volume of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions from secondary and tertiary hospitals could have exceeded 173 millions per year on the basis of these data.
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