Navigation Links
Free antibiotics: The wrong prescription for cold and flu season
Date:1/16/2009

With an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant infections growing, experts are warning grocery-store pharmacies that antibiotics giveaways are an unhealthy promotional gimmick. If grocery stores want to help customers and save them money during cold and flu season, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) says, they should offer free influenza vaccinations instead.

Giant, Stop & Shop, and other grocery stores have recently begun offering free antibiotics at their pharmacies. Most concerning are promotions such as Wegmans' that link antibiotics to the winter cold-and-flu seasondespite the fact that antibiotics will have no effect on these viral illnesses and carry risks of serious side effects.

"While it may make good marketing sense, promoting antibiotics at a time when we are facing a crisis of antibiotic resistance does not make good public health sense," said IDSA President Anne Gershon, MD. "On the other hand, grocery stores would be doing a tremendous service if they help more people get their flu shots."

A new study in the February 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases shows that workers age 50-64 who received influenza vaccine lost substantially fewer days of work and worked fewer days while ill. But influenza vaccine is underutilized. Millions of doses were thrown away at the end of the last two flu seasons.

"The opposite is true for antibiotics," said Lauri Hicks, DO, medical director for the "Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work" program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "Each year tens of millions of antibiotics are prescribed for viral conditions, like the common cold, for which antibiotics are totally ineffective. Overuse of antibiotics is jeopardizing the effectiveness of these essential drugs."

For example, in some parts of the country methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the leading cause of emergency room visits for skin and soft tissue infections. To make matters worse, there are very few new antibiotics under development to fight resistant bacteria.

In addition, the risks associated with antibiotics are under-appreciated. Allergic reactions and other adverse events cause an estimated 142,000 emergency room visits annually, according to a recent study by CDC.

"Most doctors know better than to prescribe antibiotics when they are not needed," Dr. Gershon added. "But many find it hard to say 'no' to sick patients who think antibiotics will make them feel better. We are concerned that these pharmacy marketing efforts will encourage patients to ask for antibiotics prescriptions."

IDSA urges grocery store pharmacies to partner with the CDC's "Get Smart" program. CDC and its partners educate the public and health care providers about when antibiotics will and won't work and the dangers of antibiotic resistance. For more information, see the Get Smart website.

"Lowering customers' health care costs is an admirable goal," Dr. Gershon said. "But singling out antibiotics for promotion when we are facing a crisis of antibiotic resistance is the wrong way to do it. On the other hand, free influenza vaccinations could make a real contribution to public health."


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Employees Wrongly Think You Get What You Pay For in Health Care
2. New SEIU Television Ad: Thelma Drake is Wrong for Veterans, Wrong For Virginia
3. The Lanier Law Firm Announces Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Rice University, Former Coach, NCAA, Others in Students Sickle-Cell Death
4. Standard Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
5. Whats wrong with selling kidneys?
6. Wrong-Sided Brain Surgery Trial Halted
7. Consumer Watchdog Praises CA HMO Regulators Promise to Reinstate Health Coverage for Wrongfully Cancelled Patients; Cautions That All Health Costs During Gap Must be Covered
8. Darwin Introduces Enhancements to its Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance Policy Including Privacy Wrongful Acts and More
9. Pelosi: President Bushs Proposed Medicare and Medicaid Cuts Are Exactly the Wrong Medicine
10. Patient Safety Authority Visits Facilities for Information on Wrong-Site Surgery
11. Diagnosis of Heart Attack Can Be Wrong
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating to Best ... individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to be a ... and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way of creating ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws ... a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula ... , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents ... the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and ... highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 VolitionRx ... of Dr. Edward Futcher to the ... effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was also appointed ... Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member of the ... and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in connection with ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  MedSource announced today that it has ... solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates MedSource,s ... their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic data ... nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice in ... "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC platform ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made ... the current process. Many of them do not even offer ... difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE ... at such a high cost that the majority of today,s ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: