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Study Shows Doctors Are Overprescribing Antibiotics

Reuters reports that doctors may be overprescribing antibiotics, according to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine. The study analyzed 8,200 emergency room visits due to sore throats between 1997 and 2000. Researchers found that despite only 10% of sore throats actually being caused by bacterial infection, and thus being treatable via antibiotics, about 60% of cases were treated with antibiotics. The results are alarming because overuse of antibiotics can cause strains of bacteria to become resistant to this treatment. Additionally, the prescription of more expensive antibiotics, despite proven efficacy of the more affordable penicillin, places a greater financial burden on patients and insurance providers.

Read the article published by Reuters.

Read the study in JAMA Internal Medicine.