Despite National Efforts, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 5:01pm
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Some countries have programs designed to curb the over-prescription of antibiotics and ease the antibiotic resistance crisis. Yet studies continue to show troubling rates of inappropriate antibiotic treatment.

Research published in the journal "BMJ" reports that one-quarter of antibiotic prescriptions filled by privately insured outpatients in the U.S. were wrongly written to treat illnesses like colds, chest infections and coughs.

Add in illnesses like sinusitis and sore throat, which are most often viral and not bacterial, and that number jumps to more than one-third.

These findings are consistent with a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than two years ago.

The "BMJ" study uses 2016 data and newly revamped medical codes to examine more than 19 million patients.

Of those, one in seven received at least one inappropriate antibiotic prescription, and only one-eighth of prescriptions were deemed wholly appropriate.

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