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Dan Rather Reports Investigates our Heavy Dependence on Antibiotics - What are the Causes... and the Consequences?
Date:1/11/2011

DALLAS, Jan. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Tonight's "Dan Rather Reports" examines the alarming health consequences resulting from the overuse of antibiotics. Every year, more than 90,000 Americans die from "superbugs" that antibiotics cannot treat; these antibiotic-resistant infections, caused directly by the overuse of antibiotics in the U.S., cost us more than $35 billion a year.  In tonight's program, Dan Rather investigates the role that doctors, patients, and American culture itself play in precipitating this crisis.

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"Antibiotics are being grossly misused.  Antibiotic resistance is mounting at a speed that we cannot control.  And why?  'Cause we don't have control over antibiotic use in the country, in the world," said Dr. Stuart Levy, a molecular biologist at the Tufts University School of Medicine. "We don't have adherence to guidelines, which if we had, we could control resistance."

But, while resistance continues to threaten Americans' lives, one country has managed to remain a safe haven from "superbugs."  Norway, a global leader in prudent antibiotic use, is the nation with the lowest rate of antibiotic resistant infections in the world. "Dan Rather Reports" travels to Norway to find out how this country has achieved what, for so many others, would be considered a pipe dream.

"In Norway, drug prescription generally is very much seen a societal issue," said Gunnar Simonsen, the director of Norway's national action plan against bacterial resistance.

How can the U.S. mirror Norway's efforts? Find out TONIGHT on "Dan Rather Reports."

"Dan Rather Reports: Addicted to Antibiotics" premieres on HDNet, TONIGHT, Tuesday, January 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET with an encore at 11:00 p.m. ET.

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