A new study just released by Northwestern University finds that antibiotic outpatient prescriptions in the U.S. are rarely necessary. The research, completed in conjunction with the University of Michigan and Harvard, highlights the gross overuse of antibiotics.
By wrongly prescribing antibiotics, resistance to the drugs can rapidly develop among the population, which would become a major health concern. This can allow diseases to spread more readily and put people at future risk.
Only 13% of antibiotic prescriptions were found to be appropriate, while 23% were considered inappropriate, and 28% were not associated with any diagnosis code. The study was groundbreaking in that it used data including all 91,738 diagnosis codes and 19.2 million patients.
Most previous studies were limited to individual conditions, and therefore were not conclusive in the way that this current study, released January 16th, proves to be.