Britain could face a “post-antibiotic apocalypse,” without swift action to cut needless use of such drugs, England’s chief medical officer has said.
Later this month Prof Dame Sally Davies will launch a national campaign urging patients not to demand antibiotics, as part of global efforts to restrict use of the drugs.
The chief medical officer said patients often thought GPs were “being mean” when they refused them drugs, when in fact they were doing their best to conserve the antibiotics, so they are still available when they are truly needed.
The advertisements, featuring singing antibiotics, will urge the public to take more care of the drugs, she said.
If antibiotics lose their effectiveness it will spell “the end of modern medicine” said Dame Sally, who said global action to cut antibiotic use had been “far too slow”.
Speaking at conference of global experts in Berlin, she announced plans for projects to map the spread of death and disease caused by superbugs, international research and a £2.75m domestic awareness campaign in the UK.
“We really are facing, if we don’t take action now, a dreadful post-antibiotic apocalypse,” she said.