Antibiotic over-prescribing means that as many as one in seven patients can now no longer be helped with them.
In fact, for some infections, the failure rate of antibiotics as a treatment was as high as one in three. For infections such as pneumonia, which commonly affects the elderly, the consequences are fatal.
Routine operations for joint replacements, C-sections and so on could also become deadly, as the World Health Organisation declares a public health crisis. It’s not just humans either. Vets routinely over-prescribe antibiotics for pets too.
Researchers from the University of Cardiff looked at the records of almost 11 million patients prescribed antibiotics between 1991 and 2012 for sinusitis, sore throats, skin infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.
For 15.4 per cent of patients given an antibiotic in 2012, it was ineffective, compared to the failure rate of only 13.9 per cent in 1991.
Drug firms have also not produced more effective antibiotics because they are not deemed profitable.
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