Online dispensing of antibiotics threatens future of medicine – BSAC speaks out in The Times
BSAC Council has debated the potential harm that new initiatives aimed at widening access to medicines can cause. The Society is concerned that services offered by high street and online pharmacies, whereby patients can pay for an online consultant and gain a prescription for antibiotics, will do little to reduce prescribing by GPs, but could contribute to driving up rates of resitance to antibiotics.
In addition to expressing concern in a letter published in the British Medical Journal, the Society has offered commentary in an article published in The Times. Speaking on behalf of BSAC, Professor Laura Piddock said “These initiatives to make access to antibiotics easier are counterproductive. BSAC believes that such initiatives are, at very least, against the spirit of antibiotic stewardship and should be strongly discouraged.” She said that while online prescribing was suitable for some conditions, antibiotics were different because poor use of the drugs by one patient can have an impact on the population as a whole by allowing bacteria to become resistant. “We don’t disagree with widening access to medicine; we just don’t think it’s right for antibiotics,” she said.
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