Children and antimicrobial resistance (7)

24 November, 2020

Dear Daniel,

You said in a previous message in relation to the problem of overprescription of antibiotics, "the Watchdogs of the faith, even from the leadership of Farma will want to minimize any abuse and make every effort to rectify any such problems".

My understanding is that Big Pharma is very much part of the problem and is a major driver of overprescribing.

As this recent Nature article says, 'Pharmaceutical companies are incentivized to increase volume of sales to maximize profits. This problem must be addressed or else the major efforts going into developing new antibiotics will be in vain.'

This recent news article from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism says: 'Two of India’s biggest drug companies are alleged to be giving inducements to “quack” doctors of gifts and cash to encourage them to prescribe vast amounts of antibiotics, fuelling the rise of drug-resistant superbugs around the world.'

Big Pharma can readily push overprescribing and therefore profits in low- and middle-income countries, partly because regulatory structures may be weaker.

Further, ‘Globally, most prescribers receive most of their prescribing information from the pharmaceutical industry and in many countries this is the only information they receive.’ World Medicines Report, WHO 2011.

Best wishes, Neil

Joint Coordinator HIFA Project on Information for Prescribers and Users of Medicines

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: