When doctors fail to adhere to guidelines set to keep the public safe in the future, there are two possible next steps:
- make it illegal to prescribe antibiotics for viral illnesses
- run a public information campaign in the media, that says doctors who wrongly prescribe antibiotics are not the trusted
Australian GPs are overprescribing antibiotics for respiratory infections, even when their use is not recommended, research shows.
Antibiotics are prescribed for acute respiratory infections (ARI) at rates four to nine times higher than recommended by national guidelines, the researchers found.
…They found an estimated mean of 5.97 million ARI cases per year were managed in general practice with at least one antibiotic.
Had GPs adhered to widely consulted antibiotic prescribing guidelines, they would have prescribed antibiotics for 650,000 to 1.36 million cases a year or 11-23 per cent of the current prescribing rate, they said.
The researchers found GPs are prescribing antibiotics in 85 per cent of acute bronchitis/bronchiolitis cases and 11 per cent of influenza cases, despite guidelines recommending they not be used.