Assessment of WHO antibiotic consumption and access targets in 76 countries, 2000–15: an analysis of pharmaceutical sales data

Review of global per-capita antibiotic consumption of antibiotics between 2000 and 2015 found that the rate of “watch” antibiotics increased by 90·9% (greater in low-income and middle-income countries), and the “access” antibiotics increased by 26.2%

SPS commentary:

The proportion of countries in which “access” antibiotics represented at least 60% of their total antibiotic consumption (the WHO national-level target) decreased from 76% in 2000, to 55% in 2015.


A related commentary provides background and states that antimicrobial resistance as one of the top ten threats to global health, and a major driver of antimicrobial resistance is antibiotic overuse and misuse.  Efforts to reduce inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics have led to strong general commitments; however, substantial variability in prescribing is present across health systems.  This study illustrates a global view of both increasing overall antibiotic consumption and relative increase in “watch” antibiotics vs “access” antibiotics, reflecting the international rise of multidrug-resistant organisms. This study raises important research questions that could lead to widespread intervention. Without large-scale policy implementation, WHO is unlikely to meet the global target of “access” antibiotics accounting for 60% of total antibiotic consumption in the foreseeable future.


The Lancet Infectious Diseases

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