July 17, 2020
Māori miss out on antibiotics
The authors of a study of New Zealanders’ use of antibiotics has recommended a 25 percent in cut in dispensing for non-Māori and non-Pasifika, but a small increase in prescriptions for those groups.
Study leader Associate Professor Mark Thomas of the University of Auckland Medical School says while it is going, New Zealand’s use of antibiotics still remains higher than comparable countries.
Inappropriate antibiotic dispensing can lead to antibiotic resistance, meaning they will not be as effective in keeping infectious disease at bay.
Analysis of data from more than 4 million New Zealanders over six years showed daily doses per 1,000 people decreased by 13.8 per cent between 2015 and 2018, with the greatest reductions in children up to 4 years of age.
New Zealand’s rate of antibiotic prescribing was still high 3.3 times greater than Sweden and more than twice the rate of Denmark.
However, the higher rates of infectious disease among Māori and Pacific communities means there is still a need for effective use of antibiotics there, with a two percent increase recommended.
In all people, regardless of ethnicity, there is excessive prescribing of antibiotics for people with coughs and colds, where antibiotics are not effective.
The paper Reduced community antibiotic resistant in New Zealand during 2015-2018: marked variation in relation to primary health organisation, Mark Thomas, Andrew Tomlin, Eamon Duffy, Murray Tilyard, is published in the New Zealand Medical Journal.
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