In 2020, the general practitioner prescribed a medicine to fewer patients than in the previous year. In particular, the number of children and young people who were prescribed a medicine fell sharply. Of all medicines, the prescription of antibiotics has fallen the most. This is apparent from the analysis of data from general practices that participate in Nivel Primary Care Registrations. The decrease is probably (largely) the result of the corona measures that were introduced; this also inhibited the spread of pathogens other than corona and fewer people visited their doctor. This is reported by Level.
66 percent of patients registered with the general practitioner were prescribed a medicine in 2020. In 2019 this was still almost 70 percent. Of the drugs that have been most commonly prescribed for years, the greatest decreases have been seen in antibiotics, painkillers and nasal sprays and drops.
Largest decrease in children and young people
The decrease in prescriptions was greatest among the target group of children and young people aged 0 to 18 years. The largest declines were antibiotics, bronchodilators, nasal sprays and drops, and antifungals. These are all drugs that are prescribed for infections. It is likely that in 2020 there was less spread of infectious diseases in this group as a result of the introduction of hygiene measures and the closure of schools and nurseries due to corona, Nivel said.
By: National Care Guide
Source: Nivel, https://www.nivel.nl/nl/nieuws/minder-mensen-kregen-een-geneesmiddelen-voorschrijven-2020, consulted on 2-12-2021