A CHEADLE pharmacy is just one of four in the UK invited to pioneer a new scheme which could unnecessary antibiotic prescribing by up to 4p per cent.
Ratcliffe’s, on High Street, is piloting a revolutionary test to identify whether adults suffering from coughs, colds and chest infections can be treated without the use antibiotics.
These conditions are usually caused by viruses, for which antibiotics are ineffective, and because the novel test can differentiate between bacterial and viral infections, it will help pharmacists reduce wasted antibiotic usage.
Respiratory tract infections are estimated to account for around 60 per cent of the 40 million prescriptions issued for anti-biotics each year.
Health experts believe the prescribing of unnecessary antibiotics can potentially expose the patient to adverse effects without recovery and also add to the rising incidence of antibiotic resistance.
Any patients who visit the Cheadle pharmacy suffering from flu symptoms and for whom the test is appropriate will be tested free.
Tania Cork, Chief Exectutive of North Staffs and Stoke Local Pharmaceutical Committee, who are commissioning the pilot study, said if successful it is hoped to roll out the service on a wider basis next winter.