GPs Draw Flak over ‘Antibiotic Apocalpse’


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) Prof Mark Baker said 10 million prescriptions a year were inappropriate

nhsProf Mark said regulators need to deal with overprescribing doctors who failed to change their ways, BBC reported.

There is universal consensus that the very basis of modern medicine is under threat due to rising numbers of infections that are resistant to drugs.
The “antibiotic apocalypse” not only means that long-forgotten infections could kill again, but jeopardises procedures including surgery and chemotherapy.

Using antibiotics inappropriately for sore throats and colds increases the risk of resistance. Yet the number of prescriptions continues to rise.

NICE has prepared fresh guidelines on antibiotic prescribing for the NHS in England, which can be adopted by other parts of the UK. The guidelines acknowledge that there is huge pressure from some patients for the drugs.

Prof Baker even said some people were “addicted” to the idea of getting antibiotics, even for conditions that would clear up on their own.
He added 97% of patients who asked for antibiotics ended up getting them, often by identifying a “soft-touch” doctor.

The guidelines say doctors should tell patients when antibiotics are inappropriate and refuse to write prescriptions.

Prof Mark Baker, director of the organisation’s centre for clinical practice, said: “We are proposing that evidence is collected so the finger can be pointed at people who are a soft touch.”

He said antibiotics could cause more harm than good in some patients, so overprescribing was “really hazardous practice”. And, he said, doctors should be encouraged to change their habits.

The latest rules for doctors should cut the 42 million prescriptions given each year by around a quarter.