Trends in Antibiotics

I recently came across an interesting Brief from the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation discussing antibiotics.  The Brief is titled Antibiotic Prescribing and Use.

The brief pulls data from a study based on Blue Cross Blue Shield members in Michigan but results are likely reflective of broader US trends.  Northwind clinics that offer medication dispensing will be interested in some of the findings.

Some interesting findings:

  • Overall antibiotic prescribing actually decreased from 2007-2009.
  • Antibiotic prescribing for children increased in the same period.

Top Ten Antibiotics:

  1. Azithromycin
  2. Amoxicillin
  3. Cephalexin
  4. Ciprofloxacin
  5. Amoxicillin-Clavulanate
  6. SMZ-TMP
  7. Doxycycline
  8. Levofloxacin
  9. Clindamycin
  10. Penicillin V

Azithromycin and Amoxicillin were prescribed much more frequently.  The list shifts a little  with children.

The brief also talks about appropriate prescribing habits and the challenges associated with inappropriate antibiotic use.  For clinic dispensing, awareness remains key as practitioners seek to address legitimate health concerns and the sometimes challenging emotional concerns of patients and the parents of patients.

As we head into another school year, antibiotics will again be at the top of the list for many ailments hitting us.  Applying antibiotic prescribing to bacterial infections and avoiding it for viral infections remains the best measure of "appropriate" (at least from the Brief’s perspective).  For point-of-care dispensing. the trends remain the same.  Offering the patient convenience while balancing their preferred treatment with the most effective approach remains a challenge.  Pharmaceutical wholesalers like Northwind remain a source of support but the balancing challenge remains with the practitioner.

For more information on this brief and some other interesting topics, check out the CHRT at www.chrt.org.

Schedule a free claims analysis now.

Let’s Talk now


Betsy Bigler | Mar 7th, 2024
INDIANAPOLIS, March 7, 2024 – Northwind has announced the addition of Tony Purkey as Senior Vice President, Client Strategies. “Demand from our self-funded employer and union clients is driving rapid growth,” said Phillip Berry, CEO. “Tony Purkey joins Northwind at a time when we need high-integrity leaders with expert knowledge in employer-sponsored health and the … more »

continue reading

Voices Lost in the Noise

Phillip Berry | Jan 31st, 2024
In the health benefits world, the mad scramble toward January renewals/starts has subsided and attention has turned to the annual cycle of review necessary to gauge progress. How did we do? The plan review process generally centers on analytics to gauge progress or regress and to identify “areas of opportunity.” Good. The right data with … more »

continue reading