SEOUL, Feb. 20 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s consumption of antibiotics edged down in 2015 but remained the highest among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the health ministry said Monday.
According to the ministry, the country’s antibiotic use was tallied at 31.1 defined daily dose (DDD) per 1,000 people, meaning 31.1 out of 1,000 people were prescribed antibiotics a day.
The prescription of antibiotics, which stood at 26.9 DDD in 2008, topped 30 DDD in 2013 and peaked at 31.7 DDD in 2014 before the moderate fall in 2015. This marked the first decline in the use of antibiotics since 2008, when the authorities started to compile data for consumption of medical goods.
South Korea’s antibiotic use, however, is the highest in the OECD. South Korea and Italy topped the list with 31.1 DDD in 2015, trailed by Slovakia with 26.8 DDD, Luxemburg with 26.3 DDD and Israel with 24.9 DDD.
Among OECD countries, Sweden and Estonia prescribed antibiotics the least, with 13.9 DDD and 14.1 DDD, respectively, which are less than half of South Korea’s antibiotic use.
A ministry official attributed the fall in the growth of antibiotic use in 2015 to strengthened control on antibiotics.