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Trends in antimicrobial prescribing in England 2014–2018

Statistics from

Review of: Public Health England English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR) Report 2018-2019.

Key learning points

  • In England, antibiotic use peaked in 2014 but since then the defined daily dose per 1,000 inhabitants per day has decreased by 9%.

  • Primary care antibiotic prescribing has decreased by 17% over the past 5 years from 749 to 625 items per 1000 inhabitants per year.

  • Between 2017 and 2018, the number of antibiotic-resistant severe infections increased by 7% to an estimated 61,000.

Between 2014 and 2018, there have been reductions in some key measures of antibiotic prescribing in England. Of particular note is the reduction in the number of prescriptions issued per person per year in primary care. The number of antibiotic resistant infections in England increased by 7% between 2017 and 2018.


This surveillance programme …

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  • Contributors DTB Team.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; Internally peer reviewed.

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