All antibiotic use contributes to resistance, and appropriate antibiotic use is key to slowing the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and protecting patient safety. Yet a third of the antibiotics prescribed in outpatient settings such as doctors’ offices and emergency departments—about 47 million prescriptions annually—are unnecessary. And when antibiotics are the appropriate treatment, patients frequently aren’t given the right ones.
Pew works with a wide range of stakeholders—including federal agencies, health systems, and insurance providers—to improve antibiotic use in outpatient settings. It also supports efforts to advance antibiotic stewardship and research to better understand prescribing patterns and the effects of inappropriate antibiotic use.