Dentists prescribing fewer antibiotics
New figures show that dentists in the UK are responding to the call to reduce the prescribing of unnecessary and inappropriate antibiotics.Issued in time for World Antibiotic Awareness Week (12-18 November), a report by the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance (ESPAUR) revealed that dental practices had dispensed 23 per cent fewer prescriptions for antibiotics in 2017 compared to 2013.
This news came after another report from the Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) at Westminster had urged the UK government to make antimicrobial resistance (AMR) a top priority. The MPs acted after hearing an estimate that AMR could kill up to 10 million per year by 2050.
The HSCC is asking the Prime Minister and ministers to raise the profile of AMR at home and abroad, and for a dedicated budget to help make more rapid progress on this vital topic.
The committee acknowledged a 13 per cent reduction in primary care prescriptions in the past five years, but expressed concern that no new classes of antibiotics have been discovered for decades because pharmaceutical companies
are concerned about the profitability of new antimicrobial drugs.
It also noted that antibiotics are still being prescribed in as many as 60 per cent of sore throats, even though most are viral and antibiotics are only effective in approximately 10 per cent of these cases.
Accordingly, the MPs believe there must be more consistency in prescribing, and the public needs to be more aware of the risks of antibiotic resistance, and to heed advice about when they need antibiotics.
In Scotland between 2013 and 2017, there was a 24.5 per cent reduction in antibiotics prescribing by dentists.