Misuse of antibiotics down in China

Dec. 29, 2012 at 4:21 PM

BEIJING, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- The misuse of antibiotics decreased by 6 percent in China from 2008 to 2011, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences reported.

The academy said in its annual report hospitals in 21 provinces reported antibiotics use dropped from 25 percent in 2008 to 19 percent in 2011, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

The report shows a national campaign to crack down on prescription drug use is making progress.

"The report illustrates the success we've made in the campaign," said Zhu Hengpeng, senior associate of the Institute of Economics, at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Antibiotics abuse drives up medicine costs."

Many people in China wrongly believe antibiotics can reduce inflammation and often misuse them to treat ailments such as toothaches and fevers, experts say.

Over-using antibiotics can lead to much more serious conditions, including damage to organs, and disorders associated with the body's resistance to disease.

Media reports have suggested antibiotics overuse results in about 80,000 deaths in China a year. However, these reports have not been confirmed by the Ministry of Health.

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