Antibiotic Use Rose 65% Globally Between 2000-2015; Increase Driven By Economic Growth In LMICs, Study Shows

CBS News: Global use of antibiotics soars as resistance crisis worsens
“In recent years, antibiotic resistance has risen to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. Yet despite this growing health crisis, new research shows worldwide use of antibiotics skyrocketed between 2000 and 2015, largely driven by dramatic increases in low-income and middle-income countries [LMICs]…” (Welch, 3/26).

CIDRAP News: Global antibiotic use rises, fueled by economic growth
“…The study, published [Monday] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that overall global antibiotic use rose by 65 percent from 2000 through 2015, while the antibiotic consumption rate increased by 39 percent. Over that period, antibiotic consumption in LMICs more than doubled, with some LMICs having consumption rates that surpassed those of high-income countries (HICs). The increase was correlated with growth in per capita gross domestic product (GDP)…” (Dall, 3/26).

The Guardian: Calls to rein in antibiotic use after study shows 65% increase worldwide
“…Of particular concern, the report states, is the steep rise in global use of antibiotics of last resort, such as colistin, a drug that has been reintroduced despite being all but abandoned in the 1970s because of its toxicity. Colistin has been used to treat infections that cannot be shifted with other drugs, but in the past decade bacteria with colistin-resistant genes spread around the world after they emerged in a Chinese pig in the mid-2000s…” (Sample, 3/26).

NPR: Surge In Antibiotics Is A Boon For Superbugs
“…Antibiotic use more than doubled in India between the year 2000 and 2015. It was up 79 percent in China and 65 percent in Pakistan. Some of that increase was due to population growth but it wasn’t just that. Overall sales were up. So the report makes it clear that the average person in India, China, or Pakistan is taking far more antibiotics now than they were a decade and half ago…” (Beaubien, 3/26).

TIME: People Around the World Are Using Far More Antibiotics. Here’s Why
“…Antibiotic use in high-income countries declined slightly, the researchers note, though more judicious use of the medicines is still encouraged for countries like the United States. In the U.S., a third of antibiotics prescribed are unnecessary” (Sifferlin, 3/26).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.