Growing drug resistance will lead to long-term harm
Originally published on Scoop
Drugs that fight many common infectious diseases are becoming less effective because of increased antibiotic resistance, a direct consequence of persistent high levels of community antibiotic use in New Zealand.
A University of Auckland study has analysed almost 5 million antibacterial prescriptions dispensed in New Zealand during 2015 and found that per head of population, courses of antibiotics were more commonly dispensed to Pacific and Māori people than to people of European, Asian or other ethnicities.
“This is not surprising as many infectious diseases, for example rheumatic fever, are more common in Pacific and Māori people,” says lead author Dr Mark Thomas, of the Faculty’s Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology.
The study, just published in the New Zealand Medical Journal found that while admission to hospital for acute rheumatic fever is approximately 50 times more common in Pacific and Māori people, the rate of dispensing of the antibiotics commonly used to prevent acute rheumatic fever was only 1-2 times more common in Pacific and Maori people, when compared with people of all other ethnicities.