There has been a concentrated effort over the past few years to raise awareness of overprescribing of antibiotics. As you know, it’s not just a matter of spending unnecessarily on drugs that aren’t called for, but also a risk to public health due to growing antibiotic resistance. And yet, every year new data seem to emerge indicating that this problem is just not going away. Now a study published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report took a different approach: trying to identify the worst culprits by region and specialty. In the process, the researchers crunched numbers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and discovered that the highest 10% of antibiotic prescribers were responsible for 41% of all antibiotic prescriptions written for Medicare Part D members in the United States in 2019. Nearly half (48%) of the highest-volume prescribers practiced in the South. Family practice and internal medicine physicians were more likely to prescribe antibiotics (21% and 20% of all antibiotic prescriptions written across all regions, respectively) than other specialties. Given the number of nurse practitioners and physician assistants practicing in urgent care, it bears noting that 14.1% of antibiotic prescriptions were written by NPs while 7.4% came from PAs. By comparison, dentists wrote only 3% of antibiotic prescriptions for the study population. JUCM has been an integral part of urgent care’s efforts to encourage antibiotic stewardship, as evidenced by the number of articles devoted to the subject. Here’s just a small sampling:

·     Stopping the Rise of Antibiotic Resistance: An Urgent Care Imperative

·     Improving Appropriate Antibiotic Use for Common Clinical Conditions in Urgent Care

·     A Multimodal Intervention to Reduce Antibiotic Use for Common Upper Respiratory Infections in the Urgent Care Setting

Take Note: New Data Reveal Who Is Most Likely to Write Too Many Antibiotic Scripts
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