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June 27, 2011

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Hospitals face antibiotics cuts

SOME local hospitals are using almost three times as many types of antibiotics than will be permitted under strict regulations that could take effect on Friday.

According to regulations drafted by the Ministry of Health, city-level hospitals should offer no more than 50 types of antibiotics.

District-level hospitals are permitted to use only 35 types of the drugs.

But currently, some local hospitals offer more than 100 types of antibiotics and while the picture is better at some city-level hospitals that have been controlling antibiotics use, they still use around 60 types, according to an investigation by the Shanghai Morning Post.

The introduction of the new regulation will see nearly half of antibiotics types withdrawn from local hospitals. No introduction date has been confirmed, but it is widely thought to be July 1.

However, 50 types of antibiotics are enough for clinical requirements as they can kill almost all known bacteria, said an official with the Shanghai Health Bureau.

Ni Yuxing, an infection expert at Ruijin Hospital and a member of the standards committee under the ministry, said hospitals will have the right to choose the antibiotics they want and reject those they are unsure of or which have resistance problems.

The regulations also stipulate that antibiotics can be used on no more than 60 percent of hospitalized patients and only 20 percent of patients in out-patient service.

The city bureau will carry out a fortnightly inspection on antibiotics use from July 4.

Hospitals listed in the bottom 20 places will be inspected again after making corrections, officials said.


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