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image from The Pew Charitable Trusts

by Kristin Pridgen, MPH, CHES

The Pew Charitable Trust recently published the first in a series of reports on antibiotic use in outpatient settings. A panel of public health and medical experts, including representatives from the CDC, analyzed current outpatient antibiotic prescribing habits in the United States, determined targets for reducing inappropriate prescribing, and identified steps needed to reach these targets. At least 30% of the outpatient antibiotic prescriptions written each year are unnecessary.

The panel set a 2020 goal of 50% reduction of inappropriate antibiotic use, or 23 million fewer prescriptions. This would require decreasing outpatient antibiotic prescribing by 15% overall. The majority of this reduction would come from eliminating unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory conditions. To read the report, go to: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/2016/05/antibiotic-use-in-outpatient-settings.

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