petri dishes

Project

Antibiotic Resistance Project

Antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as much as 50 percent of the prescriptions—originating in hospitals and outpatient settings, such as primary care clinics—are unnecessary or inappropriately prescribed.

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics adds to the growing threat of drug-resistant bacteria. Pew focuses on reducing the inappropriate antibiotic use in human health care settings and on expanding the use of effective stewardship programs that are designed to ensure antibiotics are used only when needed and prescribed at the proper dose for the right duration.

Pills
Patient
Report

Antibiotic Use in Outpatient Settings

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Report

Antibiotic use in outpatient health care settings, such as primary care offices and emergency rooms, represents the majority of dollars spent on antibiotics for human health care in the United States. Beginning in 2015, The Pew Charitable Trusts convened a panel of experts, including representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health and medical experts to analyze current outpatient antibiotic prescribing habits in the United States, determine targets for reducing inappropriate prescribing, and identify steps needed to reach these targets.

Doctors
Doctors
Report

A Path to Better Antibiotic Stewardship in Inpatient Settings

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Report

Antibiotics should be used only to treat bacterial infections, and should be prescribed only in doses and for durations appropriate for the patient and infection being treated. Yet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that up to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed in the U.S. are unnecessary or inappropriate, with many of them prescribed in inpatient settings.

Outpatient antibiotics selection
Outpatient antibiotics selection
Issue Brief

National Targets to Improve Outpatient Antibiotic Selection

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Issue Brief

Ensuring the appropriate use of antibiotics is critical to improving patient care and minimizing the development of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic use in outpatient health care settings, such as primary care clinics and emergency rooms, represents the majority of dollars spent on antibiotics for human health in the United States and should be a focus for efforts to ensure that antibiotics are prescribed only when necessary and that the appropriate antibiotic is selected.

Health care
Health care
Fact Sheet

Unnecessary Antibiotic Use and Patient Safety

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Fact Sheet

Many antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary or inappropriate. Improved antibiotic stewardship is needed, not only to curb the threat of antibiotic resistance but also to avoid exposing patients to unnecessary risks.

Additional Resources

Hospital
Hospital
Data Visualization

Antibiotic Use in Human Health Care

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Data Visualization