Research recently published from Greater Manchester Connected Health City (GM CHC) has found a strong link between the prescribing of antibiotics and other types of medicine in General Practice across the UK.
As part the GM CHC antimicrobial resistance project, the research team have been working to broaden the understanding of the key drivers, which influence antibiotic prescribing in practices across the UK, so that more effective measures can be taken to optimise antibiotic prescribing in primary care.
The latest research shows a large variability between practices in the prescribing of medicines (other than antibiotics) ranging from 8800 to 27000 items prescribed per 1000 patients per year. The high prescribing practices were found to issue 80% more antibiotics compared to low-prescribing practices. Prescribing of non-opioid painkillers and benzodiazepines were also strongly related to the level of antibiotic prescribing within a practice.
Compared to other influencing factors on prescribing such as practice location and deprivation, the overall prescribing levels in practices were found to be the factor with the highest impact on a practice’s antibiotic prescribing rates. These findings suggest that interventions to tackle over prescribing of antibiotics will also need to target the prescribing behaviours of other medicines.
This latest research has been published in the British Journal of General Practice and was written by Yan Li, Anna Mölter, Andrew White, William Welfare, Victoria Palin, Miguel Belmonte, Darren M Ashcroft, Matthew Sperrin and Tjeerd van Staa.