KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12 — Up to 43 per cent of antibiotic prescriptions in the United States were unnecessary or improperly written, new research has found, amid antimicrobial resistance.
The growing ability of bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi to resist medicines like antibiotics, antivirals, and antimalarials — driven by the overuse of such drugs — has been listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the top 10 global health threats this year.
TIME quoted a study published in the BMJ, which analysed data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, that found 25 per cent of antibiotic prescriptions were written unnecessarily for conditions like viral illnesses, with upper respiratory tract infections being among the most common.
Another 18 per cent were reportedly not documented properly enough to assess the validity of the prescription.
Researchers found that specialists wrote inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions more often than primary care doctors.
According to the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35,000 people in the US die annually from antibiotic-resistant infections.