Radical change is required to ensure an antibiotic future
Antibiotics are a miracle of modern medicine, saving countless lives, but their effectiveness is being dulled by the relentless march of drug-resistance bacteria. One of the key drivers in this war of attrition has been the continued overuse and misuse of the limited number of antibiotics that are still effective.
Encouragingly, behaviours are changing as awareness of the superbug challenge grows. 125 countries are now carrying out drug resistance awareness campaigns while, closer to home, Public Health England (PHE) recently published a report revealing that there has been a 17% drop in GP prescribing antibiotics since 2014.
However, there is a significant note of caution here: this same PHE study showed that despite the reduction in prescriptions, there was still an estimated 9% rise in one year on the 2017 numbers. It estimated that there were 61,000 antibiotic-resistant infections in England during 2018.
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