Greeks are among the largest consumers of antibiotics in Europe, according to the most recent report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The data raises ongoing concerns about the excessive use of antibiotics, despite an overall decrease observed in the last two decades.

Greeks came in fourth in overconsumption of antibiotics, with the data revealing they received 23.5 defined daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants per day in 2021 in the Eurozone.
Romanians (25.7), Cypriots (25.0), and Bulgarians (24.4), were the top three overusers, as indicated by the recent report indicated.

This consumption significantly surpasses the European average of 16.4, as illustrated in the accompanying infographic. Conversely, the Netherlands and Austria reported the lowest values in the study, with a defined daily intake ranging between 8 and 9 DDD per 1,000 inhabitants in 2021.

The concerning levels of antibiotic consumption contribute to the growing issue of antibiotic resistance, where bacterial strains develop resistance to these medications due to their overuse or misuse. A recent study by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control underscores the severity of this problem, linking infections caused by these “superbugs” to over 30,000 annual deaths in Europe.

Comparatively, while the European Union faces challenges with antibiotic overuse, it is important to note that the United States also grapples with similar concerns. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. remain notably high, contributing to the risk of antibiotic resistance.

According to a past study published in the British Medical Journal, 1 in 7 patients received unnecessary antibiotics. Antibiotics were most commonly overprescribed for bronchitis, the common cold, and related symptoms such as cough – conditions that the medicine does not improve.

Efforts to address this issue could involve raising awareness about the responsible use of antibiotics in both the European Union and the U.S. Collaboration on a global scale could also prove helpful to combat antibiotic resistance effectively and ensure the continued efficacy of these crucial medications.