/publications/issue/2003/2003-12/2003-12-7555

CDC Enlists Parents to Help Curb Antibiotic Overprescribing

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    Pharmacists may soon be seeing a measurable drop in the number of pediatric prescriptions for antibiotic products, thanks to a new $1.6-million public information campaign launched this fall by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    The initiative, called "Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work," represents a new direction for the CDC's long-running campaign to discourage doctors from overprescribing antibiotics. Instead of targeting physicians, the new effort hopes to discourage parents from pestering pediatricians into writing unnecessary prescriptions for these drugs.

    CDC concerns about overprescribing are underscored by 1995 research findings suggesting that more than 40% of all antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately for viral rather than bacterial infections.