The use of antibiotics among Americans with commercial health insurance has decreased during the past several years, according to a new analysis that nevertheless
shows lingering variations for different ages and in different parts of the country.
The study released provides the latest evidence of how doctors and patients have begun to heed warnings that excessive antibiotic use breeds dangerous drug resistance and “superbug” bacteria.
The analysis is based on 173 million insurance claims from people under age 65 with Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage
who filled prescriptions
between 2010 and 2016.
It is a sequel of sorts to research by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found a smaller decline and comparable age and geographic variations.
The CDC reported a 5 percent decrease overall between 2011 and 2014 in antibiotic prescriptions written in outpatient settings such as doctors’ offices, clinics and hospital emergency rooms.
The study by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association found that 9 percent fewer antibiotics prescribed in outpatient settings were filled in 2016, compared with 2010.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Study:
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