Other considerations

Medicines adherence

  • Medicines adherence may be a problem for some people with medicines that require frequent dosing or longer treatment duration (for example, antibiotics). See the NICE guideline on medicines adherence.

Resource implications

  • Respiratory tract infections, including acute sore throat, are a common reason for consultations in primary care, and therefore are a common reason for potential antibiotic prescribing. In a 2011 survey of UK primary care (Gulliford et al. 2014), consultations for 'sore throat' accounted for 27% of all consultations for respiratory tract infections, and the median practice issued an antibiotic prescription for 60% of these.

  • There is potential for resource savings if a no antibiotic or a back-up antibiotic prescription strategy is used. One open-label RCT (de la Poza Abad et al. 2016) found significantly lower rates of antibiotic collection in the delayed collection prescription group (26.0%, p<0.001) and patient-led back-up prescription group (34.7%, p<0.001) compared with the immediate prescription group (89.1%, low quality evidence).

  • Recommended antibiotics are all available as generic formulations, see Drug Tariff for costs.

  • Public Health England
  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)