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Brazil restricts antibiotics in bid to stop superbugs

Brazil has imposed new regulations on the sale of antibiotics as part of efforts to curb the development and spread of superbugs such as the KPC bacteria blamed for 43 deaths this year.

The latest rules from the National Health Alert Agency, or Anvisa, include a requirement that anyone wanting to buy antibiotics have a doctor's prescription.

Pharmacies are also instructed to retain the original of the prescription, while physicians have been given updated guidelines for when to prescribe antibiotics.

Brazil's health ministry says the excessive and often unjustified use of antibiotics has been a factor in the development of highly resistant strains of bacteria.

Mandating that pharmacies retain the originals of prescriptions will reduce 'self-medication and the abusive and indiscriminate use of antibiotics', Health Minister Jose Gomes Temporao said Thursday.

Anvisa's experts, called upon last week for suggestions on combating new bugs resistant to antibiotics, earlier issued an order that all doctors and nurses wash their hands with alcohol between patients.
 
 

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