Australian health authorities will this year reportedly consider changes to the way antibiotics are prescribed, in an effort to curb the spread of superbugs.
One option may be to restrict or halt repeat prescriptions by doctors, pending the outcome of a Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee report on the issue due later this year, according to The Australian.
Almost half of antibiotic prescriptions are issued with repeats, and according to a report issued last month antimicrobial resistance shows little sign of easing in Australia.
Disease-producing bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Neisseria meningitidis are among those becoming increasingly resistant to major drug classes.
Some organisms are even resistant to last-resort treatments, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care report found.
Australia's anti-microbial resistance strategy is reviewed every five years.
Australian Associated Press