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Report: Inappropriate Antibiotic Use Still High Despite Educational Efforts
Date:2/28/2011

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT) today released an issue brief showing continued high rates of inappropriate antibiotic use, despite a 15-year national outreach campaign by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to educate providers and consumers on the dangers of antibiotic overuse.

According to the CDC, antibiotic-resistant infections in the U.S. create $20 billion in excess healthcare costs and eight million additional hospital days. Antibiotics do not help or cure viral infections, such as bronchitis or the flu.

In Michigan, overall antibiotic prescribing for adult Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) members decreased 9.3 percent from 2007 to 2009, but increased 4.5 percent for children during the same time period. The studies found significant differences in prescribing patterns between southeast Michigan and the rest of the state, particularly for children. Children in southeast Michigan were prescribed an average of .93 antibiotics per year, while children in outstate Michigan were prescribed an average of 1.0 per year.

"The continuing high rate of antibiotic use for viral infections in children and adults—particularly outside of southeast Michigan—is of great concern, as is the increase in the use of broad spectrum antibiotics in children," said Marianne Udow-Phillips, CHRT's director. "Using antibiotics when they are unnecessary—or treating simple infections with drugs that should be reserved for the most serious infections—are practices that contribute to antibiotic resistance, making future infections harder to treat."

Highlights of the Antibiotic Prescribing and Use issue brief, an analysis of BCBSM data, include:

  • BCBSM spent nearly $16.5 million for the top 10 antibiotics prescribed to adult members. Of these 10 most commonly prescribed drugs, five were listed
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SOURCE Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT)
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