18 November 2018

Responsibility for Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance Lies with Society Not Just GPs, Says College

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, has responded to a new campaign about antimicrobial resistance.

She said: "Antibiotics are excellent, vital drugs when used appropriately - and for many bacterial infections there is often no alternative treatment available.

"GPs are already doing great work to reduce antibiotics prescribing and will only recommend them if we genuinely believe they will help the patient sitting in front of us. But antimicrobial resistance is a society-wide issue, and GPs cannot be held responsible for tackling it on their own.

"We need to get to a stage where antibiotics are not seen by patients as a 'catch all' for every illness. Sore throats, for example, are usually caused by viral infections that antibiotics will not help – they are also self-limiting and will get better on their own, with symptoms that can be relieved with paracetamol and other over the counter remedies.

"It's crucial we continue to get this message out, which is why we're pleased to support all campaigns to reduce inappropriate use of antibiotics to make sure we can carry on delivering safe, effective care to our patients both now and in the future."

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The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.