CDC and Pew: New JAMA Paper Shows that Outpatient Docs Still Overprescribe Antibiotics

CDC and Pew: New JAMA Paper Shows that Outpatient Docs Still Overprescribe Antibiotics

Improve Antibiotic Use to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with Pew Charitable Trusts and other public health and medical experts, released new data today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showing that doctors in private offices and emergency rooms continue to significantly overprescribe antibiotics.

According to the article, at least 30 percent of antibiotics prescribed in U.S. outpatient settings are unnecessary. Many of these prescriptions are written for respiratory conditions including colds, viral sore throats, bronchitis, and sinus and ear infections, none of which require antibiotics as a first line of treatment. Poor prescribing practices result in about 47 million excess prescriptions each year, putting patients needlessly at risk for allergic reactions, deadly diarrhea infection from Clostridium difficile, and other side effects.

Pew Report: Antibiotic Use in Outpatient Settings
In addition to the JAMA article, Pew released, “Antibiotic Use in Outpatient Settings,” a report that provides an in-depth picture of antibiotic prescriptions in the United States, plus practical strategies to improve prescribing. This information will help guide efforts toward achieving goals in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Additionally, Pew offers videos featuring a number of health care providers involved in the report.

CDC Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative

Congress has recognized the urgent need to combat antibiotic resistance and appropriated $160 million for CDC to implement its activities listed in the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Known as the Antibiotic Resistance (AR) Solutions Initiative, CDC’s work is transforming how our nation tackles this watershed issue.

CDC Safe Healthcare Blog
Today on CDC’s Safe Healthcare Blog, David Hyun, M.D., senior officer with Pew’s antibiotic resistance project, discusses how key stakeholders across the health care continuum help reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings. Dr. Hyun encourages health care providers to evaluate their own antibiotic prescribing habits and implement stewardship activities in their practices.

Learn more about the best ways to use antibiotics www.cdc.gov/getsmart.

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