NHS prescribing data show that UK GPs prescribe approximately 1.8 million courses of antibiotics every month to treat respiratory infections such as coughs, colds, bronchitis, otitis media, sinusitis and sore throat, at a cost of about £9 million. Antimicrobial resistant infections currently claim at least 50,000 lives each year across Europe and the US alone and 700,000 globally. These figures are set to rise to an estimated 10 million deaths per year by 2050 which would represent a greater death toll than cancer and diabetes combined.
The team from King's College London's School of Population Health & Environmental Sciences conducted a year-long trial including 79 general practices across the UK. GPs in the intervention trial arm received a short training webinar, monthly feedback reports of their antibiotic prescribing for respiratory illness and online access to decision support materials. The trial analysed the anonymised electronic health records of more than 500,000 patients.
Results - Prescribing - % - Prescription - Patients
Results showed that antibiotic prescribing was reduced by 12% overall with one antibiotic prescription avoided for every 62 patients aged 15 to 85 years. There was no evidence that serious bacterial complications, including pneumonia or scarlet fever, were increased. GPs...
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