‚ÄčTreat Yourself Better without AntibioticsA major new consumer campaign, ‘Treat Yourself Better’ without antibiotics was launched by Pharmacy Voice and PAGB at the Annual Self Care Conference on 12th November 2013.

The campaign urges people to self-treat winter ailments such as coughs and colds rather than going to the GP and asking for antibiotics which are ineffective in treating the symptoms of viral infections.

Research indicates that people often give up on the self-treatment of common winter ailments because the symptoms last longer than they expect. The campaign therefore aims to educate people on how long such symptoms should typically last for and provide advice on what people can do to better treat themselves with pharmacy support to help prevent unnecessary visits to the GP surgery or A&E department.

To understand better the symptom duration of cold and flu a new informative website,www.treatyourselfbetter.co.uk, has been developed that features a symptom checker and warning signs support material, to help people understand how long symptoms could last for and when it is appropriate to seek medical assistance.

The campaign is supported by a wide range of organisations including the Department of Health, Public Health England (through European Antibiotic Awareness Day), NICE, the community pharmacy trade associations and over-the-counter medicines manufacturers.


  • Unnecessary GP and A&E visits for winter ailments could cost the NHS over £343 million.
  • Nearly half who visit the GP for common winter ailments do so because they want antibiotics. 
  • Younger generation are the biggest culprits for wasting GP time.
  • Only one in five make use of their local pharmacy despite long GP waiting times.

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