China plans crackdown on antiobiotics overuse

CHINA - China's top health authority is set to further strengthen nationwide surveillance over clinical use of antibiotics and related drug-resistance cases to avert potential antibiotic overuse.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission issued an online notice on May 7 that ordered health administrations and hospitals across the mainland to strictly regulate antibiotic uses, which is crucial to help ensure clinical safety and prevent antibiotic resistance.

According to the notice, top-level hospitals, graded AAA, could have 50 types of antibiotics, while those at the second level are allowed only 35 different kinds.

It also set standards for antibiotic prescriptions.

On average, less than 60 per cent of inpatients at hospitals are permitted to have antibiotics, and no more than 20 per cent of outpatients are allowed an antibiotic prescription, it said.

Hospitals at level two and above are required to carry out relative trainings and evaluations on proper antibiotic usage, it said.

Evaluation results will be linked to doctor promotions and payments, it said. Those caught overprescribing antibiotics will be punished.

Previous estimations from the commission showed an average of 138 grams of antibiotics were used by each person each year on the mainland, about 10 times that of the United States.