Urgent action needed to help GPs prescribe fewer antibiotics: study

A Queensland academic has called for monitoring of antibiotic resistance rates in the community, new targets and help for GPs to reduce how much of the drug they prescribe.

About 1600 people die directly from antibiotic resistance in Australia every year, according to a piece published in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.

The authors, led by Bond University academic Professor Chris Del Mar, said the situation would get steadily worse until 2050, when deaths from currently treatable infections would overtake total cancer deaths.

The antibiotic resistance crisis would also pose serious problems for now routine high-technology medical care.

Without reliable antibiotics, procedures such as chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, major surgery such as joint replacement and invasive diagnostic procedures, such as cardiac catheterisation, would become too dangerous to perform.

Many aspects of medical care would retreat into the pre-antibiotic era of the 1930s, the economic consequences of which would be catastrophic, the authors said. Read more… 

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