Antibiotics usage declines sharply

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The number of people in Norway who receive presecriptions for an antibiotic has declined 20 percent in the past five years. Health care experts cheered the news as important in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

New numbers from the state register of presecriptions in Norway showed that those for antibiotics written out in 2017 were down 20 percent from 2012. That continues a trend after numbers for 2016 had shown a decline of 16 perent.

“This is good, and a concrete result that we have a good plan against antibiotic resistance,” Christian Berg, a pharmacist and senior adviser for Norway’s state public health institute (Folkehelseinstitutt). told news bureau NTB. More than 30 million doses of antibiotics were approved in 2012, when its usage peaked and left 30 percent of women and 21 percent of a men receiving antibiotic treatment.

Norway’s antibiotic usage is low in global terms but doctors continue to become more restrictive. Some complain of pressure from patients, especially students who don’t want to be sick. Others, however, have reported that more patients want to avoid antibiotics. Oslo registered the largest decline in Norway last year, according to the state association of pharmacies (Norsk Apotekforening), followed by the counties of Sogn og Fjordane, Akershus, Vestfold and Aust Agder.

Norwegian billionaire Olav Thon, who made his fortune in real estate development, recently donated NOK 30 million from his foundation to three research projects on antibiotic resistance, to help counter what’s viewed as the biggest threat to world health. The money will go to joint projects at several universities in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

newsinenglish.no staff