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Top 10 Countries Consuming the Most Antibiotics

The World Health Organization released data this week showing antibiotic usage in 65 countries. The organization, the U.N.’s international public health agency, says some countries show very high levels of antibiotic consumption levels, while shortages exist in several regions worldwide. The disparity, the WHO warns, suggests some populations are vulnerable to infectious disease, while overuse in other countries could spread antibiotic resistance and lead to highly dangerous “super bugs.”

The United States, China and India are notably missing from the WHO index.

The following are the countries that are consuming the most antibiotics, according to WHO data. The figures represent the “defined daily doses,” or DDD, according to WHO. The figures are from 2015, and are the most recent data that countries provided. For comparison, Burundi records the lowest level of antibiotic consumption, at 4.44 DDD.

10. Cyprus

The Mediterranean island country of Cyprus records the 10th-highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 27.14 defined daily doses per 1,000 people.

9. Tanzania

Tanzania, located in East Africa, records the ninth-highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 27.29 defined daily doses per 1,000 people.

8. South Korea

South Korea, located in East Asia, records the eighth-highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 27.68 defined daily doses per 1,000 people.

7. Romania

The Southeastern European nation of Romania records the seventh-highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 28.5 defined daily doses per 1,000 people. A study published earlier this year showed Romania has the highest level of antibitoic consumption with prescription, at 20 percent, followed closely by Greece and Cyprus.

6. Montenegro

The Balkan nation of Montenegro, located in Southeast Europe, records the sixth-highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 29.33 defined daily doses per 1,000 people.

5. Serbia

Serbia, sandwiched between Romania and Montenegro in Southeast Europe, records the fifth-highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 31.57 defined daily doses per 1,000 people. A study conducted by the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research showed that 7 percent of the antibiotics taken in the EU are without a prescription.

4. Greece

Ancient Greece, located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, records the fourth-highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 33.85 defined daily doses per 1,000 people.

3. Turkey

Turkey, situated at the intersection of Eurasia and the Middle East, records the third-highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 38.18 defined daily doses per 1,000 people.

2. Iran

Iran, located in West Asia and home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, has the second-highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 38.78 defined daily doses per 1,000 people.

1. Mongolia

The East Asian nation of Mongolia, located between China and Russia, has by far the highest level of antibiotic consumption, according to WHO, at 64.41 defined daily doses per 1,000 people. In a study on antibiotic use in the country, the authors concluded that the government needed to establish a better drug regulatory authority to enforce the illegal practice of buying antibiotics without a prescription.

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Top 10 Countries Consuming the Most Antibiotics originally appeared on usnews.com



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