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GPs choose costly antibiotics

11th September 2007

Research has shown GPs often ignore other options when prescribing medication and choose the newest and most costly medicines.

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The British Pharmaceutical Conference were told how "modern" medications accounted for one out of every eight prescriptions which GPs issued.

Four in five antibiotic prescriptions are filled out in a GP's surgery. Researchers working at Liverpool John Moores University examined which medicines were prescribed and how frequently they were given as treatment.

The team reviewed computer data and discovered that 15% of all antibiotic prescriptions were for the latest costly drugs. They also found that the guidelines in place to limit the prescription of these drugs were not adhered to.

Dr Jim Kennedy, the Royal College of GPs Head of Prescribing, said that the research need to be more detailed in order to build up an adequate idea of prescribing and to solve the relevant issues.

"We don't know if this is a couple of rogue prescribers, or whether there were good reasons why the guidelines weren't being followed.

"The problem with guidelines is that none of them perfectly fits every situation."

Doctors have come "under pressure" to limit prescriptions of antibiotics because over-prescribing can cause strains of disease which may resist treatment.

The new, strong antibiotics are meant to be used "sparingly" by GPs.

Another study by a team from Sunderland University showed more than 50% of hospital patients were given more antibiotics than they needed.

 



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Article Information

Title: GPs choose costly antibiotics
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 4035
Date Added: 11th Sep 2007

Sources

BBC News

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