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27.05.16

PM promises to halve unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions by 2020

Prime minister David Cameron has announced ambitious initiatives to cut antibiotic prescription at the G7 summit.

Cameron focused on antibiotic prescriptions for the global public health section of his speech at the Japanese conference today, saying he would set a target of cutting inappropriate prescribing in half by 2020.

He also said the UK would donate £265m to track the spread of resistance in developing countries, and £50m to a global fund for antimicrobial resistance research and development.

Cameron said tackling antibiotic resistance was more “simple” than it sounded, and “vital” work.

The NHS has already had success in tackling the problem. NHS Improvement announced this week that the NHS had managed to cut antibiotic prescriptions by 7.3% in one year, against a 1% target, and cut prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics by 16%, against a 10% target.

In his final antimicrobial resistance review, published last week, Lord O’Neill warned that antimicrobial resistance will cost 10 million lives a year by 2050 unless urgent action is taken to tackle it.

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