Doctors castigated for overprescribing antibiotics

The Chief Medical Officer has sent out more than 5000 letters to GPs with the highest prescribing rates

Australia’s highest antibiotic-prescribing GPs have been targeted with a letter from Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy, asking them to curb their prescribing, reports Australian Doctor.

Individual letters warning about antibiotic resistance have been sent to the top 30% of antibiotic prescribers based on PBS data, comparing their prescribing with other doctors in the area.

“You prescribe more antibiotics than 97% of prescribers in [your area],” reads one letter seen by Australian Doctor.

“The PBS data has been provided to you as a prompt to consider your prescribing behaviour,” Professor Murphy writes.

The letters are one facet of the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Strategy, which aims to speak to doctors about their prescribing patterns, the Department of Health has confirmed.

According to the Strategy, a 2014 survey found nearly 60% of GPs would prescribe antibiotics to meet patient demands or expectations.

“Education is important for all prescribers and dispensers of antimicrobials to ensure they prescribe and dispense appropriately,” says the Strategy document.

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1 Comment

  1. twoElectric

    I tried to talk my GP out of prescribing antibiotics at the end of my daughter’s cough that he thought was viral. He said it’s nearly certain that it’s viral but prescribed antibiotics, “Just in case…” I protested but he insisted. Then I checked the guidelines for GPs, and he’s totally wrong about it. Don’t they understand that it’s bad for our kids??? It’s not just to meet patients’ demands or expectations, because some GPs are doing it despite our requests!

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