Pressure Builds to Rein in Overprescribing of Antibiotics for the Treatment of Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Decision Resources, Inc., one of

the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and

health care issues, finds that pressure from expert panels, payers, and public

health officials to reduce antibiotic overprescribing will limit growth of the

acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis (AECB) drug market over the next



 "AECB is currently overtreated with antibiotics, and experts suggest that

a subset of patients with minor symptoms probably do not require antibiotic

therapy," said Aarti Raja, PhD, an analyst at Decision Resources. "However,

because AECB patients often have multiple other medical problems, primary care

physicians tend to err on the side of caution and prescribe antibiotics-often

the 'latest and greatest'."


The new Pharmacor study, titled Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis,

also finds that physicians are caught between a need to limit overprescribing

and a need to deal with increasing antibiotic resistance among respiratory

pathogens in the major pharmaceutical markets (United States, Germany, France,

Italy, Spain, Japan, and the United Kingdom). So far, attempts by managed care

organizations, insurers, and national health systems to contain the cost of

treating AECB have been thwarted in part by these new generations of resistant



During an acute exacerbation, breathing becomes much more difficult

because of further narrowing of the airways and secretion of large amounts of

mucus that is often thicker than usual. An acute exacerbation of chronic

bronchitis is associated with increased frequency and severity of coughing,

and is often accompanied by worsened chest congestion and discomfort.



Source:  Decision Resources, Inc.