DoH scraps antibiotic ads this year to avoid confusion

The DoH has scrapped its antibiotic awareness campaign for 2009/10 amid fears it would put patients off taking antivirals, this week's issue of GP newspaper reveals.

Research showed that the public did not understand the difference between antibiotics and antivirals
Research showed that the public did not understand the difference between antibiotics and antivirals

A DoH spokesman said: ‘We are not running our usual national press campaign this year because research showed that the public do not understand the difference between antibiotics and antivirals.'

The DoH research, carried out in the summer, found ‘widespread confusion between bacteria and viruses', which conditions they cause, and which can be treated with antibiotics.

The spokesman added:  ‘There also seemed to be some confusion between antibiotics and antivirals, the latter recently having become familiar. People wondered if they are the same thing, and if not, what each one should be used to treat.'

Mark Enright, professor of molecular epidemiology at Imperial College, London said: ‘Campaigns warning of the misuse of antibiotics are always welcome as this misuse has been driving increases in the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

‘It would be good if the distinction between antivirals and antibiotics was made in a campaign but so much press coverage is currently aimed at effectively detecting and treating H1N1 that the timing is probably not the best.

GPC prescribing lead Dr Bill Beeby said: ‘If too many messages are put out, there is the risk of confusing people.'

Read this week's issue of GP newspaper

 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

First-dose COVID-19 vaccine supply for GP sites to stop completely for a fortnight

First-dose COVID-19 vaccine supply for GP sites to stop completely for a fortnight

Supplies of COVID-19 vaccine for first-dose vaccinations at GP-led vaccination sites...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

More than 70% of COVID-19 jabs this month have been second doses

More than 70% of COVID-19 jabs this month have been second doses

More than seven in 10 COVID-19 jabs administered UK-wide since the start of April...

Accountant's theft of more than £60,000 from GP practices uncovered in pandemic

Accountant's theft of more than £60,000 from GP practices uncovered in pandemic

An accountant has been handed a suspended jail term after stealing more than £60,000...

GMC to contact thousands of GPs due to revalidate from August

GMC to contact thousands of GPs due to revalidate from August

The GMC is writing to thousands of doctors due to revalidate from August to set out...

NHS England spells out next steps as GPs told to cancel AZ jabs booked for under-30s

NHS England spells out next steps as GPs told to cancel AZ jabs booked for under-30s

GP-led vaccination sites should offer under-30s due to receive a first dose of AstraZeneca...