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Policy Brief 8

This brief highlights the strong link between flu and antibiotic prescription. According to recent research, “from 1995 through 2002, 26 percent of patients—just over one-quarter of them—who were diagnosed with flu were prescribed antibiotics. And that excludes people whose diagnosis could plausibly include a bacterial infection in addition to or associated with the flu... Between 2 million and 4 million people visit doctors’ offices for flu every year—simple math translates that into 500,000 to 1 million antibiotic prescriptions every year with no possible benefit to patients.”

Hellen Gelband