Fewer antibiotics are being prescribed by doctors in England for the first time, data from Public Health England (PHE) shows.
The figures reveal that antibiotic prescribing decreased by 4.3 per cent from 40.7 million to 38.5 million between 2014 and 2015, marking the first ever decline in antibiotic prescriptions across the healthcare system.
Welcoming the news, Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE said: “This new data published by PHE shows that our attitudes are changing for the better. Now we must work hard to maintain this momentum.”
NICE is currently seeking comments on proposed ‘management of common infections’ guidelines, which will provide evidence-based advice on how common infections can be managed, with the purpose of tackling antibiotic resistance.
Professor Leng added: "We will also be producing prescribing summaries for all new antimicrobials, with advice on how they should be used in practice”, Professor Leng added. “This will require close links to the PHE resistance data, to ensure new antimicrobials are used only when necessary. New NICE advice will help protect new antimicrobials for future generations.”