CDC Calls Out Antibiotic Prescribing Problems

Lisa Schnirring | Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) | March 4, 2014

In a major report today that looked at antibiotic usage, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said some clinicians in similar hospital units prescribe triple the amounts, with some making the types of errors that fuel drug-resistance problems that put many more patients at risk.

On a more hopeful note, however, the same report also found hospitals that trim their antibiotic use by 30% can reduce Clostridium difficile (C diff) infections, a potentially deadly diarrheal infection known to sicken patients in health facilities, by 26%. The CDC published the findings today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

As today's report focused on encouraging antibiotic stewardship in more hospitals, CDC officials received word that a proposed White House budget released today contains $30 million for such programs, an amount they said could spur solid progress in addressing the problem.

Antibiotic stewardship programs are considered a key step in reducing the threat of antibiotic resistance.