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Antibiotic prescription rates among the commercially insured population declining in the US

Two new reports on antibiotics prescribing and spending are adding to the evidence that campaigns to improve antimicrobial stewardship in the United States are beginning to pay off.

Report from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) says that overall number of antibiotic prescription rates among the commercially insured population dropped 9% between 2010 and 2016. Broad-spectrum antibiotics, which are the type most likely to facilitate the creation of antibiotic resistant bacteria rates dropped the most at 13 %. The drop in antibiotic fill rates was significantly greater in children (16%) when compared to adults (6%). For infants the decline was the steepest with 22%. BCBS researchers also found wide variations in the prescriptions filled by state and region.

In the other, Clinical Infectious Diseases report researcher found that overall US antibiotic expenditures in 2015 were 16.6% lower than in 2010.

Public health efforts to increase the awareness of excessive antibiotic use and the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria appear to be achieve measurable results. Nevertheless there is still plenty of room for improvement of antibiotic stewardship efforts across the spectrum of healthcare.

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