New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that antibiotics are being prescribed for inappropriate uses, threatening the treatment of deadly diseases.
According to the CDC, of the estimated 154 million prescriptions for antibiotics written in doctor’s offices and emergency departments each year, 30 percent are unnecessary.
Researchers found that most of these unnecessary antibiotics are prescribed for respiratory conditions caused by viruses, including common colds, viral sore throats, bronchitis and sinus and ear infections, which do not respond to antibiotics.
“Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs, and if we continue down the road of inappropriate use we’ll lose the most powerful tool we have to fight life-threatening infections,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., CDC Director. “Losing these antibiotics would undermine our ability to treat patients with deadly infections, cancer, provide organ transplants and save victims of burns and trauma.”