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Antibiotic use in EU

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

More than 15 percent of antibiotic sales in Greece are OTC, according to a European Commission report in the April 19 British Medical Journal. The assessment of EU governments' strategies to reduce antimicrobial use found nonprescription antibiotics account for between 5 percent and 10 percent of total antibiotic sales in Malta, Romania and Spain. The report also found that 11 countries indicated all antibiotics were prescription, while seven, including the U.K., reported that nonprescription antibiotics accounted for less than 1 percent of their use. Fifteen EU member states have strategies on the prudent use of antimicrobials, eight are preparing them and four have no plans, the report found. Another pan-European survey indicated the message about overuse of antibiotics is not getting through to the public; although 37 percent of those surveyed received information within the previous year on the subject, only a fifth were aware that the drugs do not kill viruses or treat colds and the flu
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