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A new WebMD/Medscape survey found that some clinicians reported antibiotic prescribing habits that may contribute to the public health crisis of antibiotic resistance. Additionally, the survey found that about 1 in 4 patients (23 percent) has asked their physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant for an antibiotic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year, in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a direct result of antibiotic-resistant infections.
According to CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, “Its clear we’re approaching a cliff with antibiotic resistance. But it’s not too late. Clinicians and health care systems need to improve prescribing practices. And patients need to recognize that there are both risks and benefits to antibiotics – more medicine isn’t best, the right medicine at the right time is best.”
The CDC has a variety of resources to help providers and patients use antibiotics wisely.