Why are antibiotics overprescribed? (2) Overprescription and poverty

19 June, 2022

Dear Neil and friends, overprescription of drugs makes people/families poorer. There are researches/studies that confirm it.

In countries where PEM (Protein Energy Malnutrition) both moderate and severe is widespread, mothers perceive that their children are not malnourished but sick. In fact diarrhoea, vomit and loss of apetite are often present, prompting them to jump from a clinic to another in search of pharmaceutical remedies that are prescribed as syrups of hematinics/probiotics/multivitamins and of course antibiotics. The maigre budget of the family is therefore spent for drugs instead of food, nutritious local food that would save the life of that child and his brothers-sisters.

Nobody seems responsible for this unethical trend, not the doctors/prescribers or clinics that must make a profit from the selling of drugs, nor the pharmacies for the same reason. Who pays for it is the last ring of the chain, the poor that is made poorer and exploited.


HIFA profile: Massimo Serventi is a long-standing Pediatrician working in Africa since 1982. He has worked for several NGOs in 6 African/2 Asian countries. His interests include clinical and community pediatrics, adherence to clinical guidelines and school education as the major determinant of good health. massimoser20 AT gmail.com