Unnecessary antibiotics prescriptions reduced in British trial

Provision of social norm feedback to high prescribers of antibiotics in general practice: a pragmatic national randomised controlled trial

antibiotics
Writing to GPs about use of antibiotics changes their prescribing patterns. Sheep purple.

Provision of social norm feedback to high prescribers of antibiotics in general practice: a pragmatic national randomised controlled trial, thelancet, doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00215-4, 18 February 2016.

A trial involving over 1,500 GP practices found that writing to GPs about their antibiotics prescribing resulted in 73,000 fewer prescriptions (a 3.3% reduction) over 6 months. This equates to direct savings of over £92,000 in prescription costs.

This is part of the government’s plans to slow the growth of antimicrobial resistance. Increasing resistance to antibiotics and a lack of new drugs means there is a greater risk of infections that cannot be treated.

The trial was a collaboration between Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, Public Health England, and the Behavioural Insights Team.

We know that drug resistant infections are one of the biggest health threats we face. This innovative trial has shown effective and low cost ways to reduce unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics which is essential if we are to preserve these precious medicines and help to save modern medicine as we know it.

Professor Dame Sally Davies said.

There were 2 groups involved in the trial, GPs and patients. GPs were sent a letter saying ‘80% of practices in your local area prescribe fewer antibiotics per head than yours’, and were provided with 3 ways to make sure any antibiotics prescriptions were necessary.

Patients were targeted with leaflets and posters about why reducing the use of antibiotics is important.

GPs who received the letter reduced their rate of antibiotic prescriptions to 127 per 1,000 compared to 131 per 1,000 by GPs who did not receive the letter. There was no significant difference in the rate of antibiotics prescriptions in the patient targeted group.

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

Have your say! Share your views

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.