Survey: Some physicians open to financial penalties for inappropriate antibiotic prescription

Results of a physician survey published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found physicians were open to penalizing colleagues when they prescribe antibiotics inappropriately.

The University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy covered the findings.

The American College of Physicians administered a survey to 694 of its members; 47 percent completed it. Participating physicians were asked if they would support a financial penalty for physicians who routinely prescribe antibiotics for upper respiratory infections, but were given different information with the question. One described the harm routine antibiotic prescribing can cause patients, another described the harm it can cause to society, the third described increased costs to institutions like hospitals and insurers, and the fourth did not describe any harm that could come from routine antibiotic prescription.

Overall, 31 percent of participating physicians supported a financial penalty. When harm to patients was described, that proportion jumped to 41 percent. For the institutional harm version, 36 percent supported a penalty; for the societal harm version, 23 percent; and for the control version, 25 percent.

More articles on antibiotic stewardship:
Antibiotic stewardship highly effective in reducing drug-resistant bacteria, C. diff infections
MRSA screening not linked to prolonged antibiotic use, study finds
Pink eye patients often prescribed unnecessary antibiotics, study finds

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