Calls to Rein in Antibiotic Use after Study Shows 65% Increase Worldwide

(From The Guardian)

A dramatic rise in global antibiotic consumption has led public health experts to call for fresh strategies to rein in excessive use of the drugs, and for major investments to provide clean water, sanitation and vaccines in countries where infectious diseases are rife.

The unrestrained use of antibiotics is the main driver for the rise in drug-resistant infections which now kill more than half a million people a year worldwide, including 50,000 in Europe and the US combined. Left unchecked, the spread of drug resistance could claim millions of lives a year by 2050, according to a 2014 report for David Cameron, the former prime minister.

Despite efforts to encourage more prudent use of antibiotics, an international team of researchers found a 65% rise in worldwide consumption of the drugs from 2000 to 2015. The sharp upturn, revealed in sales figures from 76 countries, was driven almost entirely by rising use in poorer nations, the study found.

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