Antibiotic Use in South East Asia and Policies to Promote Appropriate Use: Reports from Country Situational Analyses

Published on 1 January 2018

Inappropriate use of antibiotics is rampant in South East Asia1-6 and is a major contributor to antimicrobial resistance.7-9 However, data on antibiotic use are scant, few effective interventions to improve appropriate antibiotic use have been implemented,10 11 and implementation of policies for appropriate use of antibiotics is also poor.12 13 An analysis of secondary data on antibiotic use from 56 low and middle income countries found that countries reporting implementation of more policies also had more appropriate antibiotic use.14 15 Effective policies included having a government health department to promote rational use of medicines, a national strategy to contain antimicrobial resistance, a national drug information centre, drug and therapeutic committees in more than half of all general hospitals and provinces, and undergraduate education on standard treatment guidelines.15 An updated essential medicines list and national formularies were also associated with lower antibiotic use.

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Holloway. K.; Kotwani, A.; Batmanabane, G.; Puri, M. and Tisocki, K. (2018) 'Antibiotic use in South East Asia and policies to promote appropriate use: reports from country situational analyses', BMJ 2017;358:j2291

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Kathy Holloway

Visiting fellow

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