Part of a new NPS campaign to inform the community of the dangers of overuse of antibiotics, the Facebook page aims to sign up 35,000 people who will pledge to take three steps towards reducing antibiotic misuse, which it says could significantly reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
NPS clinical adviser Danielle Stowasser said antibiotics were one of the most important advances in modern medicine, but overprescribing and misuse meant more and more bacteria were becoming resistant to treatment.
“With very few new antibiotics being developed, the harsh reality is that if we don’t change the way we use antibiotics now, by the time our children are adults we could run out of effective antibiotic,” Dr Stowasser said..” By 2030 we could be back to the pre-antibiotic era.
“This is why we are encouraging all Australians to sign up via Facebook and become an antibiotic resistance fighter. If 35,000 Australians were to join the fight, this would help bring our antibiotic usage as a nation in line with the average of other OECD countries.”
The mass media component of the campaign also launches this week with a series of advertisements on television, in print and online, featuring everyday Australians wearing ‘Resistance fighter’ T-shirts and taking simple actions to curb antibiotic resistance.
Consumers are being asked to refrain from requesting an antibiotic from their GPs if they have a cold or flu. They are also being encouraged to take any prescribed antibiotics exactly as directed, and to encourage others to become resistance fighters as well.
The person who signs up the most friends to the Facebook page are being offered a prize of an iPad pre-loaded with a Medicines List app, a magazine subscription and $1000 worth of books for a school or child care centre.