One in ten antibiotic scripts ‘fail’: study

Failure rates of antibiotics are on the rise, according to a British study that analysed almost 11 million antibiotic prescriptions issued in primary care.

The results mirror what is happening in Australia, says public health expert Professor Chris Del Mar from Queensland’s Bond University.

Over a 22-year period more than one in 10 antibiotic treatments for four common infections failed, according to the research published in The BMJ.

The study reveals antibiotic use in primary care is the single most important risk factor for an infection with a resistant organism.

For upper and lower respiratory tract infection, skin and soft tissue infection, and acute otitis media the overall failure rate jumped from 13.9% to 15.4% between 1991 and 2012, an increase of 12%.