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Seven days in medicine: 25-31 May

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 01 June 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i3068


GPs cut antibiotic prescribing by 2.6 million

The total number of antibiotics prescribed by general practitioners in England fell 7.3% in one year—down from 37 million items in 2014-15 to 34.3 million in 2015-16, data from NHS Improvement showed. This significantly exceeds the 1% reduction target set by the national patient safety team with Public Health England and NHS England. GPs also managed to cut broad spectrum antibiotic prescribing by 16%, beating the 10% reduction target set for the NHS (full BMJ story at doi:10.1136/bmj.i3002).

EMA urges lower colistin use in animals

European Medicines Agency (EMA) guidance recommended limiting colistin use in animals. Colistin is the last resort antibiotic for multidrug resistant infections, and last week the United States reported its first case of colistin resistance in a person. The EMA’s move followed reports in several European countries of colistin resistance being transmitted between people by a new mechanism involving the mcr-1 gene. Some countries use 20-25 times more colistin in animals than others, and the EMA recommended cutting this to match levels of low …

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