Join the DDA or

Scottish antibiotic prescribing falls

2021 report notes increased non-medical prescribing

January 12th 2023

Tagged: Clinical Zone news Scotland

By Ailsa Colquhoun

Antibiotic use in primary care has decreased by 18.8 per cent since 2017 despite increased prescribing by non-medics.

The report, Scottish One Health Antimicrobial Use and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in 2021, shows that GPs accounted for 73.8 per cent of all antibiotic items compared to 74.8 per cent in 2020. In 2021, nurses accounted for 12.5 per cent of all antibiotic items dispensed in the community. Between 2017 and 2021, there has been a year-on-year increase in the items per 1,000 patients per day prescribed by nurses of 4.8 per cent.

Pharmacists in Scotland wrote and dispensed 3.3 per cent of total antibiotic use in primary care (items) compared to 2.8 per cent in 2020. Of pharmacist antibiotic prescriptions, 62.3 per cent were for trimethoprim, the recommended first line antibiotic for lower urinary tract infection in women in Pharmacy First.

In 2021, 83.7 per cent of antibiotic use occurred in primary care (community setting) with the remainder in secondary care (hospital setting). Antibiotic use in acute hospitals accounted for 13.7 per cent of antibiotic use in humans with non-acute hospitals accounting for 2.6 per cent.

Overall, antibiotic use in humans in both primary care and hospital settings has continued to fall over a five-year period – a 16.9% decrease between 2017 and 2021.

Another key finding was that AMR in humans has remained largely stable between 2020 and 2021.   work with stakeholders to contain and control AMR going forward. Collectively we can reduce the further emergence and spread of AMR, protecting our patients, families and communities.”