Antibiotic prescribing data under fire

Attacks on GPs for allegedly prescribing unnecessary antibiotics for the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections are being fuelled by dodgy official statistics it has been revealed.

Last month the Productivity Commission said there had been little change over the last five years in the GP prescribing of oral antibiotics for URTIs.

It calculated that over the previous financial year there had been 1224 antibiotic prescriptions for URTI every 1000 patients holding health care cards - a key statistic used by governments as a measure of