Global increases in antibiotic consumption: a concerning trend for WHO targets
Worldwide, antimicrobial resistance is increasing at an alarming rate. In 2019, WHO listed antimicrobial resistance as one of the top ten threats to global health. A major driver of antimicrobial resistance is antibiotic overuse and misuse. Efforts to reduce inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics have led to strong general commitments; however, substantial variability in prescribing is present across health systems. Eili Klein and colleagues did a systematic evaluation of antibiotic consumption according to the WHO AWaRe Classification Database across 76 countries from 2000 to 2015. This study provides valuable insight into antibiotic prescribing trends at a global level. Antibiotics were classified as Access (first-line or second-line therapies), Watch (for use only with specific indications due to higher resistance potentials), or Reserve (for use as a last resort). Over this 15-year study period, overall use per capita increased by 26·2% in Access antibiotics and 90·9% in Watch antibiotics.
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