High rate of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing

RESEARCHERS from Beijing and Hangzhou found antibiotics were prescribed to half of all outpatients but only 40% of scripts were appropriate.

Among inpatients, prescribing was higher at 77.5% with only 25% being appropriate.

The researchers noted that medical staff in the clinics were typically of low skill such as physician assistants and nurses.

In addition, the clinics rely to some extent on drug sales to operate, with government investment funding only a third of their budgets.

JAMA Intern Med 2014;174:1914-20