profession

Nearly half of antibiotic prescriptions may be unnecessary

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 22, 2013

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Physicians prescribe enough oral antibiotics each year to provide the drugs to four in five Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet as much as half of antibiotic prescribing may be inappropriate, CDC officials wrote in the April 11 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine (link).

Nearly 260 million courses of antibiotics were dispensed in 2010, said the article, based on an analysis of information from the IMS Health database. Penicillin was the antibiotic class most often prescribed, and azithromycin was the top agent.

Patients in the South were prescribed 107.4 million antibiotic courses, nearly twice as many as the second-place region, the Midwest.

Family physicians wrote 25% of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions, more than any other prescribers. Pediatricians accounted for 13% of orders, as did internists. Dentists ordered 10% of antibiotic prescriptions, while nurse practitioners ordered 7%.

Back to top


ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISE HERE


Featured
Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


Read story

Goodbye

American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story