The problem of inappropriate use of antibiotics and the resulting growth in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has implications for Poland and the world. The objective of this paper was to compare and contrast antibiotic resistance and antibiotic utilisation in Poland in recent years versus other European countries, including agreed quality indicators, alongside current AMR patterns and ongoing policies and initiatives in Poland to influence and improve antibiotic prescribing.
A quantitative ten-year analysis (2007–2016) of the use of antibiotics based on European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data combined with a literature review on AMR rates and antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.
The system of monitoring AMR and appropriate strategies to address AMR rates remain underdeveloped in Poland. The role of microbiological diagnostics and efforts to prevent infections is currently underestimated by physicians. Overall, Poland had one of the highest rates of total consumption of antibiotics in the analysed European countries. Total consumption of antibacterials for systemic use and relative consumption of beta-lactamase sensitive penicillins were characterized by small but statistically significant average annual increases between 2007 and 2016 (from 22.2 DIDs to 23.9 DIDs and from 0.8 to 1.3%, respectively).
The integrated activities around appropriate antibiotic prescribing in the pre- and post-graduate training of physicians and dentists seem to be particularly important, as well as changes in policies on prescribing antibiotics within ambulatory care. AMR and appropriate prescribing of antibiotics should be the focus of health policy actions in Poland.