25 September 2023

Antibiotics usage still a pain

Start the conversation

A report on the use and misuse of antibiotics in the Australian community has found it to be falling but still overprescribed with more dangerous bacteria growing increasingly resistant to common medicine.

Published by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the report, Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Australia 2019: Third Australian Report on Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Human Health (AURA 2019) highlighted a number of resistant bacteria as major healthcare problems.

The report warns that antimicrobial resistance shows little sign of abating and poses an ongoing risk to patient safety.

AURA Clinical Director, Kathryn Daveson said antimicrobial resistance was driven by the overuse and misuse of antibiotics.

“Encouragingly, AURA 2019 found that overall use of antibiotics in the community fell between 2015 and 2017 — the first decline in 20 years,” Dr Daveson said.

“This suggests ongoing and coordinated campaigns targeting GPs and consumers on the risks of using antibiotics inappropriately are beginning to cut through.”

She said that despite these gains, in 2017 more than 10 million Australians had a least one antibiotic prescribed for them and more than 26.5 million prescriptions for antimicrobials were dispensed.

“While the downward shift in prescribing will help to slow the spread of resistance, these latest AURA findings indicate that the levels of inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics in hospitals and the community are still too high and there is more work to be done,” Dr Daveson said.

“AURA 2019 also identifies focus areas that need increased attention — including reducing inappropriate prescribing of broad spectrum antibiotics, particularly for urinary tract and skin infections.”

The Commission’s 261-page report can be accessed at this PS News link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.