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Interactive data visualizations of antibiotic use and resistance in North America and Europe
Carbapenems are powerful IV antibiotics, typically used as a "last resort" to treat serious infections caused by multi-drug resistant, gram-negative pathogens. This graph shows trends in retail carbapenem dispensing - that is, vials and preparations purchased in pharmacies outside hospitals, and administered in the outpatient setting. In developed countries, such use is warranted only in limited contexts – for example when outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) is indicated. The high price of carbapenems puts them out of reach for many in low-resource settings, including French West Africa. Nevertheless, sales in India and Pakistan are rising due to widespread over-the-counter availability of antibiotics. In the absence of regulations, carbapenem use may often be unnecessary, leading to concerns about the emergence of resistant organisms that are nearly impossible to treat.
"French West Africa" includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, and Togo.
NOTE: our graph has changed. The data for India in the original graph mistakenly included penem (faropenem) sales along with carbapenems. Penems are a structurally related, but therapeutically distinct class of oral drugs that is not FDA-approved and is only available in some Asian countries (incl. China, India, Japan). Because of the different clinical uses, formulation and market availability, the inclusion of faropenem biased comparisons, which is why we have updated the visualization in our website to include only carbapenem drugs.