Antibiotics Unnecessarily Prescribed!
At least 30 percent of antibiotics are unnecessarily prescribed, contributing to the rise of debilitating and sometimes deadly bacteria-resistant superbugs, according to a study released Tuesday – May 3, 2016.
To reach this conclusion, researchers tracked antibiotic use in doctors’ offices and emergency departments between 2010 and 2011 throughout the United States. The study results were published in Journal of the American Medical Association by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with Pew Charitable Trusts.
The findings showed that doctors needlessly wrote prescriptions for viruses, such as the common cold, viral sore throats and other ailments that can’t be cured with antibiotics. More than 47 million excess prescriptions put patients in harm’s way for allergic reactions and superbugs, such as Clostridium difficile, or C. diff.
“The rampant misuse of antibiotics is probably the leading infectious disease public health threat the world faces,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, a UPMC infectious disease specialist, said after learning of the study results. “The spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and the infections they cause are a crisis and, if allowed to continue, will drag civilization back decades.”
Superbugs kill 23,000 Americans a year and sicken 2 million, according to the CDC.
Last year, the White House set its sights on superbugs, releasing a plan to combat the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The plan’s goal is to reduce outpatient antibiotic use by 50 percent and inpatient use by 20 percent by 2020.
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