Small Number of Antibiotic Prescribers Write Large Percentage of Prescriptions, CDC Study Says

February 16, 2022

During 2019, 41 percent of all Medicare Part D antibiotic prescriptions were prescribed by 10 percent of healthcare providers prescribing antibiotics, indicating that a small proportion of prescribers accounted for a disproportionately large number of antibiotic prescriptions.

That’s according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) undertaken to help healthcare systems optimize antibiotic prescribing to limit the emergence of antibiotic resistance and improve patient outcomes.

The study also showed that higher-volume prescribers prescribed antibiotics to a larger share of their patients and that their prescribing rate was 60 percent higher than that of lower-volume prescribers, indicating that their prescribing practices might be independent of the number of beneficiaries under their care.

Thus, said CDC, prioritizing higher-volume prescribers for focused stewardship interventions could have a sizeable impact on antibiotic prescribing, even when data on visit volume, prescribing indications and appropriateness are not available.

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