Switching antibiotics to pharmacy sale will increase resistance, doctors say

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 02 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1538
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. 1London

    Plans to make two antibiotics for treating urinary tract infections available to buy over the counter in the United Kingdom rather than being prescription only are governed by commercial rather than public health concerns, say doctors and pharmacists.

    The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is currently considering reclassifying trimethoprim and nitrofurantoin for the treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections, such as cystitis.

    The move follows the agency’s approval earlier this month of a similar switch for the antibiotic azithromycin, for the treatment of chlamydia infection.

    But members of the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy oppose the move, …

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