ANTIBIOTIC OVERUSE A DEADLY PRESCRIPTION
STATISTICS show that Australians are some of the biggest users of antibiotics in the world and the Federal Government plans to launch a strategy to combat antibiotic resistance. Some microbes have already developed resistance to treatments and health authorities are worried that it could lead to widespread deaths from diseases that were controlled by antibiotics. Overuse is a big factor in the increase in resistance. In many cases, doctors do not have alternative treatment options for these infections. According to research, in 2013 10 million Australians (45 per cent of the population) received 29 million prescriptions for antibiotics. A recent survey showed 60 per cent of doctors would write a prescription if a patient demanded antibiotics, even though it might not be a useful treatment. The new national strategy will look at ways to prevent resistance and reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics. Hopefully health authorities find a solution because antibiotic resistance is potentially one of the biggest threats to mankind.