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Clinical Trials Update
April 26, 2016

Reducing Unnecessary Antibiotic Prescriptions

JAMA. 2016;315(16):1693. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.4590

Simple feedback in the form of a letter from a high-profile messenger cut unnecessary prescriptions of antibiotics among general practitioners (GPs), according to a randomized trial in England (Hallsworth M et al. Lancet. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00215-4 [published online February 18, 2016]).

Of 1581 GP practices who had antibiotic prescribing rates in the top 20% for their areas, half received a letter from England’s chief medical officer stating that 80% of local practices prescribed fewer antibiotics and a leaflet providing 3 specific actions to take to reduce antibiotic use. The other half received no communication. The same 1581 GP practices were later re-randomized to receive posters and brochures targeted to patients that promoted reduced use of antibiotics or no communication.

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