Dr Maureen Baker, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Antibiotics have served us well in treating infections for over 60 years, but as a society we have become too dependent on them and they are now seen as a ‘catch all’ for every illness and infection.
“GPs can come under enormous pressure from patients to prescribe antibiotics so we welcome a team approach to ensuring that this is done appropriately and that they are used responsibly.
“However, this must be done in an open and supportive way.
“It is essential that GPs, their practice teams and pharmacists discuss the alternatives with patients who ask for antibiotics to treat minor illnesses, most of which will get better on their own over time.
“We need to do everything we can to prevent patients and the public building up a resistance, so that antibiotics remain effective in the future when they might really need them.
“We also desperately need research and investment to develop new antibiotics to tackle emerging diseases.”
The NICE press release can be viewed here.
The draft guideline on antimicrobial stewardship is available on the NICE website at http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/indevelopment/gid-antimicrobialstewardship/documents.