Study: White people fill twice as many antibiotic prescriptions as others
A new study examining racial and ethnic disparities in antimicrobial drug use in the United States shows that white people filled twice as many antibiotic drug prescriptions per capita compared with people of other races and ethnicities. The study was published yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases.
To conduct the study, researchers from Harvard University used data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) collected in 2014 and 2015 to determine the race and ethnicity of patients who filled antibiotic prescriptions.
According to the authors, the reported annual outpatient prescription fill rate for all antimicrobial drugs was 373 (95% CI 358–388) fills per 1,000 persons. Non-Hispanic whites reported the highest rate, followed by persons of other or multiple race/ethnicity, Hispanics, non-Hispanic blacks, and non-Hispanic Asians.
White people reported 2.0–fold more fills per capita than nonwhites.
"We found a large disparity in antimicrobial drug fill rates by race/ethnicity: white persons reported making twice as many antimicrobial drug prescription fills as persons who were not white. Disparities were apparent for each major antimicrobial drug class, rather than different drug classes being used more predominantly by persons of particular race/ethnicities," the authors wrote.
The authors said their findings could be used in targeted antimicrobial stewardship programs.
Sep 27 Emerg Infect Dis study
UK aid program announces partnership to boost stewardship in Africa
The Fleming Fund yesterday announced a new program to help healthcare workers in four African countries address antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
The Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship project will form 12 new partnerships in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia that aim to improve antimicrobial stewardship, strengthen infection control and prevention, and build in-country capacity for antimicrobial pharmacy. Volunteer pharmacists, specialists, and other healthcare workers from England's National Health Service will share their expertise with counterparts from the participating nations.
"AMR poses a risk to us all, wherever we call home—collaboration of this kind with our friends and neighbours internationally is hugely important if we are to tackle this challenge together," Dame Sally Davies, England's chief medical officer, said in a news release from the Fleming Fund. "This scheme will play a crucial role in strengthening antimicrobial stewardship efforts in participating hospitals by allowing specialists to share experience and expertise."
The project will be led by the Tropical Health and Education Trust in partnership the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association.
The Fleming Fund is an aid program of the UK government to help low- and middle-income countries fight AMR.
Sep 27 Fleming Fund news release