Minimal Progress in Reduction of Prescription Antibiotic Use
Despite urging by various medical experts and agencies, overprescription of antibiotics has declined very little in the past 20 years.
Current Antibiotic Misues Statistics
- According to MedPage Today, data from two national ambulatory care databases has been collected and analyzed concerning the overuse of prescription antibiotics.
- Sore throats and bronchitis remain two of the most common reasons for the overpresption. Research suggests that doctors prescribe antibiotics to 60% of patients exhibiting sore throat symptoms, yet only one out of every ten cases is caused by an actual pathogen. Bronchitis presents a more serious problem, with 73% of patients being prescribed antibiotics.
- Over the duration of the study, physicians sent patients home with antibiotics 60% of the time.
- While the campaign to stop inappropriate use has made some progress, from 80% in 1990 to 70% in 2000, this rate has not lowered fast enough.
Information Concerning Antibiotic Misuse
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic-resistant infections, which directly stem from overuse of prescription antibiotics, add considerable and avoidable costs to the stretched healthcare system. Issues from misuse include:
- Prolonged and/or costlier treatments.
- Extend hospital stays, which necessitate additional doctor visits and healthcare use.
- Greater disability and death compared with infections that are easily treatable with antibiotics.
- The total economic cost of antibiotic resistance to the U .S. economy has been difficult to calculate. Estimates vary but have ranged as high as $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs.
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