Intended for healthcare professionals


Growth in the use of antibiotics in the community in England and Scotland in 1980-93

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 09 March 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:613
  1. P G Davey, reader in clinical pharmacology and infectious diseases (,
  2. R P Bax, medical directorb,
  3. J Newey, general practitionerc,
  4. D Reeves, consultant in medical microbiologyd,
  5. D Rutherford, general practitionere,
  6. R Slack, consultant in medical microbiologyf,
  7. R E Warren, directorg,
  8. B Watt, consultant in medical microbiologyh,
  9. J Wilson, pharmacisti
  1. a Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee DD1 9SY
  2. b Smith Kline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, Harlow, Essex CM19 5AW
  3. c Weaver Vale, Hallwood Health Centre, Cheshire WA7 2OT
  4. d Department of Medical Microbiology, Southmead Hospital, Bristol BS10 5NB
  5. e Pipelands Health Centre, St Andrews KY16 8JZ
  6. f PHLS Laboratory, Nottingham NG7 2UH
  7. g Public Health Laboratory, Shrewsbury SY3 8XQ
  8. h City Hospital, Edinburgh EH10 5SB
  9. i Nottinghamshire Family Health Services Authority, Nottingham NG1 5EP
  10. The authors are members of the general practice group of the working party on antibiotic usage, British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Davey.
  • Accepted 5 December 1995

In 1989 the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemo-therapy set up a working party on the use of antibiotics, including a working group that was asked to identify sources of data about prescribing in general practice. The aim was to identify potential sources of data, analyse the available data, and make recommendations about further investigation.

Methods and results

Data about prescribing were obtained from the prescription pricing authorities in England and Scotland. In England complete data about prescriptions were available from 1980, whereas in Scotland data available before 1991 were only a 1% sample of all prescriptions. For statistical analysis the annual growth rate in prescribing in England was calculated from the following …

View Full Text