Perspectives Open Access


The Dutch Working Party on Antibiotic Policy (Stichting Werkgroep AntibioticaBeleid, SWAB) was founded in 1996 as an initiative of the Society for Infectious Diseases, the Dutch Society for Medical Microbiology, and the Dutch Association of Hospital Pharmacists. Its primary goal is to contribute to the containment of antimicrobial resistance and the expanding costs incurred for the use of antibiotics. SWAB is the Intersectoral Coordinating Mechanism (ICM) for the Netherlands, and it is at present the National Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Focal Point. It coordinates the national surveillance of antibiotic resistance, in collaboration with the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), coordinates the surveillance of the use of antibiotics, and runs a guideline development programme. Information about consumption of antimicrobial agents and antimicrobial resistance among medically important bacteria is presented annually in NethMap. Over the past decade, outpatient consumption of antibiotics has risen only slightly, but in the hospital setting there was an overall significant increase in antibiotic use, due mainly to the steady reduction in the average length of patient hospital stays. In 2006 we introduced our electronic national antibiotic guide 'SWAB-ID' for the antibiotic treatment and prophylaxis of common infectious diseases in hospitals.


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