NEWS | July 14, 2017

Study quantifying oral antibiotic overprescribing in outpatient settings receives CDC national award


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adverse drug events from antibiotics result in roughly 143,000 emergency department visits each year nationwide.

A research study, co-authored by emergency medicine associate professor Larissa May and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2016, has been selected for the 2017 Charles C. Shepard Science Award in the Assessment category. The award recognizes significant publications that characterize health, disease, conditions or behaviors, and their determinants in communities or populations.

The study established that at least 30 percent of outpatient oral antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. are unnecessary, representing a goal for safe reduction in antibiotic prescribing. It gained national attention, leading the CDC, The Pew Charitable Trusts and 12 national health care professional organizations to issue a Joint Statement on the Importance of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship.

May, who also is director of the emergency medicine department’s Antibiotic Stewardship program, leads a CDC study that aims to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for acute bronchitis in adults and upper respiratory tract infections in children – two common conditions seen in emergency and urgent-care settings that are often inappropriately treated with antibiotics.

Other study authors include Katherine E. Fleming-Dutra, Adam L. Hersh, Daniel J. Shapiro, Monina Bartoces, Eva A. Enns, Thomas M. File Jr., Jonathan A. Finkelstein, Jeffrey S. Gerber, David Y. Hyun, Jeffrey A. Linder, Ruth Lynfield, David J. Margolis, Daniel Merenstein, Joshua P. Metlay, Jason G. Newland, Jay F. Piccirillo, Rebecca M. Roberts, Guillermo V. Sanchez, Katie J. Suda, Ann Thomas, Teri Moser Woo, Rachel M. Zetts, and Lauri A. Hicks.

Established in 1986, the Charles C. Shepard Science Award is named in honor of the internationally recognized microbiologist and physician who was chief of the CDC’s Leprosy and Rickettsia Branch for more than 30 years until his death in 1985. The science award is given for the best manuscript on original research published by a CDC or Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry scientist in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal.

Prevalence of Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescriptions Among US Ambulatory Care Visits, 2010-2011 JAMA 2016;315(17):1864-73