Intended for healthcare professionals


GPs feel pressurised to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics, survey finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 20 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5238
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. 1London

Many GPs feel under pressure to prescribe antibiotics even when they may not be the correct treatment, and some patients continue to expect antibiotics as a matter of right, two parallel surveys from the Longitude Prize charity have found.

The surveys of more than 1000 GPs and a similar number of patients were commissioned by Nesta, the organisation behind the £10m (€12.5m; $16.6m) Longitude Prize, which the public voted to award to finding smarter ways of using existing antibiotics, in the face of growing resistance and a dearth of new types.1

The survey of GPs found that 55% felt under pressure—mainly from patients—to prescribe antibiotics, even …

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