Quick to prescribe antibiotics

According to colds and flu pharmaceutical firm, Pharma Dynamics, South African doctors are still prescribing 50% more antibiotics to patients than they should, especially when it comes to common ailments like sore throats, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections, which dangerously heightens the risk of antibiotic resistant infections.

Not only are doctors continuing to write prescriptions for antibiotics, but they are also doing so more frequently than they did in the late ’90s, when fears around antibiotic resistance first surfaced.

Global antibiotic consumption has risen

Last year, The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, published a peer-reviewed research paper on global antibiotic use. The paper points to an alarming 36% increase in worldwide antibiotic consumption between 2000 and 2010. The paper also shamed the BRICS nations for being the main culprits behind the surge in antibiotic use.

Given that the latest international studies show that antibiotics have little or no effect on the overwhelming majority of common respiratory infections, and that antibiotic resistance poses a major threat to populations around the globe, why then are so many doctors intent on prescribing antibiotics?

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