Antibiotics to be made available only on prescription

Public Health Yiannis Baskozos. announced pans to make antibiotics in Greece available only by doctor’s prescription from now on, in order to stop reckless use.

“We will take measures to ensure that antibiotics are given only on prescription, and in such a way that the prescription will be kept by the pharmacist for a while so that they can control where the antibiotics are given” the general secretary of public health said to Athens news agency.

Greece is among the European countries with the highest levels of antibiotics use and   microbial resistance (AMR), Baskozos said.

Antibiotic consumption and, in particular, inappropriate use are among the main causes
underpinning the development of antibiotic microbial resistance.

According to OECD analyses, inappropriate use may account for up to 50% of all  antimicrobials consumed in human health care An even greater proportion of antibiotics are misused in the livestock sector. Some of the most common factors influencing inappropriate use of antimicrobials include cognitive biases and poor information in patients and physicians as well as organisational factors and perverse economic incentives.

As part of broader national strategies to prevent AMR, OECD governments are adopting
a comprehensive set of policy actions to address inappropriate consumption of
antimicrobials. These include information and education policies, organisational changes,
including stewardship programmes, use of new technologies and economic incentives.