Initiatives across countries to reduce antibiotic utilization and resistance patterns : impact and implications

Godman, Brian and Fadare, Joseph and Kibuule, Dan and Irawati, Lyna and Mubita, Mwangana and Ogunleye, Olayinka and Oluka, Margaret and Paramadhas, Bene D Anand and de Oliveira Costa, Juliana and Lovato Pires de Lemos, Livia and Guerra Júnior, Augusto Afonso and Alrasheedy, Alian A and Hassali, Mohamed Azimi and Saleem, Fahad and Huong, Thu and Truter, Ilse; Arora, Gunjan and Sajid, Andaleeg and Kalia, Vipin Chandra, eds. (2017) Initiatives across countries to reduce antibiotic utilization and resistance patterns : impact and implications. In: Drug Resistance in Bacteria, Fungi, Malaria, and Cancer. Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 539-576. ISBN 9783319839929 (

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Greater accessibility to antibiotics has resulted in their excessive use, leading to increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and strains on healthcare systems, with only a limited number of patients in ambulatory care treated according to guidelines. High rates of AMR are now seen across countries and continents, resulting in AMR becoming one of the most critical issues facing healthcare systems. It is estimated that AMR could potentially cause over 10 million deaths per year by 2050 unless addressed, resulting in appreciable economic consequences. There are also concerns with under-treatment especially if patients are forced to fund more expensive antibiotics as a result of AMR to first line antibiotics and do not have available funds. Over-prescribing of antibiotics is not helped by patient pressure even when physicians are aware of the issues. There is also extensive dispensing of antibiotics without a prescription; although this is now being addressed in some countries. Review interventions that have been instigated across continents and countries to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and dispensing, and associated AMR, to provide future guidance. Narrative case history approach. A number of successful activities have been instigated to reduce inappropriate prescribing and dispensing of antibiotics across sectors. These include the instigation of quality indicators, suggested activities of pharmacists as well as single and multiple interventions among all key stakeholder groups. Multiple inter-linking strategies are typically needed to enhance appropriate antibiotic prescribing and dispensing. The impact of ongoing activities need to be continually analysed to provide future direction if AMR rates, and their impact on subsequent morbidity, mortality and costs, are to be reduced.