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May 31, 2013

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Use of antibiotics drops as campaign takes effect

THE city's purchase of antibiotics for clinical use last year dropped more than 40 percent from 2010, when Shanghai launched a three-year campaign to limit the use of such medicines.

The campaign was launched to make sure people don't become resistant to antibiotics due to overuse. The overuse of antibiotics is a key reason for the rise of superbugs.

The average dosage per person in 2012 dipped more than 50 percent compared to 2010.

Reports said bacteria in China have developed resistance to up to 80 percent of antibiotics, leading doctors to prescribe stronger antibiotics that creates a vicious cycle.

Doctor Wang Minggui from Fudan University's Institute of Antibiotics said about 50 to 60 percent of Chinese patients are vulnerable to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a superbug.

"The abuse of antibiotics does so much harm, but Chinese blindly believe using these drugs are good for common fevers and colds and will ask doctors to prescribe such medications," Wang said. "More needs to be done to educate the public about the overuse of antibiotics."

The Ministry of Health earlier this month issued new rules for antibiotics. It included different requirements for different types of hospitals.


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