About Antibiotic Wise

The AntibioticWise.ca website supports the Do Bugs Need Drugs media campaign initiatives in BC, directing the public to relevant and specific information about antibiotic stewardship and resistance.

About Do Bugs Need Drugs?

Do Bugs Need Drugs? mandate is to stop and possibly reverse the current upward trend in antibiotic resistance, and to lessen the burden placed on the healthcare system by resistant infections. The Do Bugs Need Drugs? program focuses on educating the public and healthcare professionals about antibiotic resistance, the proper use of antibiotics, the difference between viruses and bacteria and the importance of hand washing.

Do Bugs Need Drugs? core program goals are to:

  1. Reduce the overuse and misuse of antibiotics at the individual and population level
  2. Prevent the spread of resistant infections


Do Bugs Need Drugs? was started in 1998 in Edmonton, Alberta, by a small group of healthcare professionals who were concerned about the increase in Antibiotic Resistance in their community. The group was led by Dr. Edith Blondel-Hill, a medical microbiologist and infectious diseases specialist.

The program was taught to children in grade 2, and resulted in uptake of key Do Bugs Need Drugs? messages by parents. The program focused on the importance of frequent and proper handwashing, the dangers of misusing antibiotics, and the basic differences between viruses and bacteria. The program was successful, and received funding in Edmonton and eventually throughout Alberta. Over time, the program took on more types of education, and grew to include all ages, including adults and healthcare professionals.

In 2005, the Do Bugs Need Drugs? program was brought to British Columbia (BC) by Dr. Blondel-Hill, with the help of Dr. David Patrick and funding provided by the Pharmaceutical Services Division of the BC Ministry of Health. Now in its thirteenth year in BC, the Do Bugs Need Drugs? program operates out of the BC Centre for Disease Control, and is showing positive achievements in addressing antibiotic resistance; however, there is still progress to be made in reducing overall use of antibiotics.

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