“Antibiotics sales in Vietnam double over 9 years, exacerbate superbug epidemic”

“Vietnam’s antibiotics sales have doubled since 2009, with more people taking unnecessary prescriptions, putting the community more at risk of drug resistance, experts said at a conference in Hanoi.

Vietnam Social Security Administration paid VND35 trillion ($1.54 billion) to cover medicine bills of insurance holders last year, and antibiotics accounted for a third of the 30 most-used ingredients in medicine, said Nguyen Thi Yen, Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine and Medical Facilities from the administration.

The medicine insurance coverage increased 12 percent from 2016 and 34 percent from 2015.

One reason that antibiotics sales has skyrocketed in recent years in Vietnam was because doctors and pharmacists have been selling and prescribing them indiscriminately and unnecessarily, said experts at the conference held last week.

A survey by the health ministry showed that 88 percent of all antibiotics sold in Vietnam’s urban areas were without prescription; the rate is 91 percent in the countryside. Many patients were given antibiotics although they were not suffering from bacterial infection, and many were given longer doses than they need.”

Source: VN Express


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