A new study from Cardiff University in the UK has revealed the results of a study looking at the efficacy of antibiotic treatments in a primary care setting. The conclusion is grim: Over a 22-year period, more than one in 10 of all antibiotic treatments used in a primary care setting in the UK failed, and that number is continuing to rise. Notably, researchers remarked that the rise in treatment failure correlated with the rise in prescriptions:
"There is a strong link between the rise in antibiotic treatment failure and an increase in prescriptions," said Professor Craig Currie from Cardiff University's School of Medicine. "Between 2000 and 2012, the proportion of infections being treated with antibiotics rose from 60% to 65% which is the period in which we see the biggest increase in antibiotic failure rates. These episodes of failure were most striking when the antibiotic selected was not considered first choice for the condition treated."
The results of this study couldn't come at a more prescient time. Americans use more antibiotics than people in any other developed nation and last week, President Obama signed an Executive Order to create a national task force that must develop a five-year action plan on curbing antibiotic resistance by February 15. The order also proposes earmarking $900 million annually for surveillance and research and $800 million for creating incentives for pharma companies to develop new antibiotics
It's important to note that the Cardiff study looks at antibiotic treatment failure, not antibiotic resistance. The two concepts appear to be linked, however, and Currie emphasized the importance of further study as fears of an antibiotic resistance crisis grow.
"From the general level of feverish debate, it’s not quite the 'cliff' we would have imagined, but clearly this is worrying," Currie said.
A recap of the week's biggest stories:
Up until now, Apple had only announced a partnership with vendor Epic.
A sign of challenges to come for the insurer?
A dispute over billing led the company to lock a Maine practice out of its patient records entirely.
The new Kaufman study provides strong evidence of the shift in the healthcare delivery system.
AHIP is fighting the trend of hospital M&A, but are its proposed alternatives enough?
Hospitals that once treated Ezra Pound and Adolf Hitler now sit untouched and decaying. It may surprise you how many of these dot towns across the United States.
And here's what we were reading:
- Dan Diamond wrote a widely-circulated story in California Healthline about Sharp's exit from the Pioneer ACO program, and what it reveals about the Affordable Care Act.
- In Forbes, Dan Munro takes a look at three reasons why the healthcare industry will favor Google over Apple.
- Read the full Cardiff University study in the BMJ.