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Study: 1 in 4 antibiotic prescriptions likely inappropriate

January 17, 2019 / Matt Kuhrt

A quarter of prescriptions are likely inappropriate for the conditions they were prescribed for, according to a new study published Wednesday in BMJ. And that estimate is probably conservative. The study was conducted by looking at the diagnostic codes for just more 19 million privately insured individuals to determine whether conditions reported within the three days prior to an antibiotic prescription justified their use. Researchers found 23.2% to be inappropriate, 35.5% potentially appropriate and only 12.8% appropriate. The remaining 28.5% had no related diagnosis code on which to base any judgment.