Antibiotic resistance: Australia is getting better, but has room to improve

Paul Hayes

13/11/2018 1:28:16 PM

Three-quarters of Australians are aware of the term ‘antibiotic resistance’.

It has been found that almost half of all Australians take an antibiotic each year.
It has been found that almost half of all Australians take an antibiotic each year.

With World Antibiotic Awareness Week underway, new research from NPS MedicineWise has shown that while Australians’ knowledge of antibiotic resistance has improved, there is still a long way to go.
‘We know that almost one in every two Australians [45%] takes an antibiotic each year, and our nation’s consumption levels are higher than those of comparable countries such as the UK and the Netherlands,’ NPS MedicineWise CEO Steve Morris said.
According to Mr Morris, the number of Australians who are aware of the term ‘antibiotic resistance’ increased to 74% in 2017 from 70% in 2014.
‘According to our survey of 2500 consumers, the belief that antibiotic resistance is affecting us now has more than doubled in recent years, from 11% in 2015 to 25% in 2017,’ he said.
Mr Morris said that while it is positive that Australians’ awareness of antibiotic resistance itself is increasing, it is important to note that many people remain unaware of its potential health consequences.
‘Most people still don’t think [antibiotic resistance] will affect them personally,’ he said. ‘There’s more work needed to educate individuals, families and communities about this problem.’
NPS MedicineWise has a number of resources for healthcare professionals to share with patients, including a World Antibiotic Awareness Week toolkit and a respiratory tract infection (RTI) action plan.

Antibiotic resistance antibiotics World Antibiotic Awareness Week

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