30 Percent of American Antibiotic Prescriptions 'Inappropriate': Study
Few success stories in the history of medicine can match that of the revolution sparked by the widespread introduction of antibiotics in the middle part of the 20th century. Millions of lives have been saved by these defenders against infection over the years -- but today, with the rise of antibiotic resistance, some doctors and researchers are voicing concern about the scale of inappropriate or incorrect prescriptions of these wonder drugs.
A study recently published in JAMA aimed to gauge the number of antibiotic courses being prescribed for children and adults incorrectly. What they found was striking: while an estimated 506 antibiotic prescriptions were written per 1,000 people in the U.S. in 2010-2011, the study found that around 150 of those roughly 500 prescriptions were, in the researchers' view, avoidable.
"Half of antibiotic prescriptions for acute respiratory conditions may have been unnecessary, representing 34 million antibiotic prescriptions annually," noted Dr Katherine E Fleming-Dutra, a CDC researcher and lead author on the study. "Collectively, across all conditions, an estimated 30 percent of outpatient, oral antibiotic prescriptions may have been inappropriate."