Almost half of the Australian population are supplied at least one antibiotic through the PBS each year. Antimicrobial stewardship – a systematic approach to ensure appropriate antimicrobial prescribing – is essential in general practice to reduce the emergence of antimicrobial resistance locally and globally, as well as to minimise cost and reduce patient-specific adverse effects associated with inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics.
Deaths attributed to infectious diseases have declined dramatically since the mass use of penicillin in the 1940s for treating sick and injured allied troops during World War II, after its development for medical use by the British and Americans and its mass production in the USA. This ushered in a golden era of medicine, when previously incurable diseases such as infective endocarditis and syphilis were now treatable.1
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