HeathcareAntibiotic shortages heading for 'major public health crisis', doctors...

Antibiotic shortages heading for ‘major public health crisis’, doctors warn


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Experts are sounding the alarm. The absence of amoxicillin, one of the most widely used antibiotics in children, could lead to a major public health crisis within days, even worse than bronchiolitis, major organizations of pediatricians and infectious disease specialists estimated on Tuesday.

“All conditions are met for a serious public health crisis in pediatrics (within) a few days,” the organizations, which include the French Society of Pediatrics (SFP) and the Society of Pathology, warned in a joint press release. language.

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In their opinion, this crisis could be even worse than the bronchiolitis epidemic, which is becoming especially severe this year and is already putting a strain on the healthcare system. The risk may be higher “in terms of morbidity and mortality.” In other words, the lack of antibiotics can be fatal for some children.

Domino effect

Last week, health authorities drew attention to “strong supply tensions” for amoxicillin, the most commonly prescribed antibiotic for children today. It is designed to fight a number of bacterial infections such as certain ear infections and pneumonia.

So far, it is in the form of a syrup, mainly used in children, that amoxicillin is not enough. But doctors fear shortages extend to all of these antibiotics. “Stocks of alternatives to pediatric forms of amoxicillin will last no more than a few weeks,” they note.

In turn, the “adult” forms of this antibiotic may, in turn, begin to run out. In the long term, doctors even fear a shortage of “curative” drugs offered as a second choice when amoxicillin is in short supply. They consider the measures taken by the authorities, which markedly limited the amount of amoxicillin that pharmacists can dispense to each patient, insufficient.

Medicines are prescribed too widely

In their opinion, it is necessary to consider the issue of “sharply limiting” the prescription of this antibiotic, if necessary, directly imposing restrictions on doctors. They also require an accurate diagnosis to be included in the prescriptions.

For example, antibiotics of no interest in bronchiolitis tend to be over-prescribed, and authorities have already asked doctors to be astute. But “a large number of recommendations will likely need to be revisited and applied more restrictively” to pediatric and infectious disease organizations.

Source: Le Parisien

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