A third of US antibiotic prescriptions are inappropriate, finds CDC study

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: (Published 10 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2660
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

Nearly a third of all antibiotic prescriptions written in the United States are given to patients who will not benefit or do not meet the clinical criteria for treatment with antibacterials, concludes a study published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.1

Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and the non-profit, non-governmental organization Pew Charitable Trusts looked at data from more than 184 000 visits to doctor’s offices, hospital clinics, and emergency departments, drawing from the 2010-2011 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey and National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

Of these visits, 12.6% resulted in antibiotic prescriptions. For every …

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