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May 27, 1974

Trends of Antibiotic Use In the United States

Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1974;228(9):1098. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230340014011

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To the Editor.—  Divergent views appear in the series of comments on antimicrobic usage (227:1023-1032 and 1048-1049, 1974). Ballin et al are skeptical of Simmons and Stolley's critique despite the supportive data in their cited references, and in Kunin's, Howell's, and the editor's comments, whose conclusions and recommendations are hardly "preliminary." The references to Finland and Weinstein that are cited by Simmons and Stolley, and other opinions, cannot be discredited, and Cluff's contributions are not mentioned. Similar critique of overuse, misuse, and ensuing harmful results appeared regularly for years in issues of the Medical Letter and in annual reviews of infectious diseases in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the Postgraduate Medical Journal, and elsewhere (Med Clin N Am 45:849, 1961; Arch Environ Health 13:631, 1966; JAMA 205:537, 1968). Granted that accurate data are diffcult to collect, how much more "definitive" or "hard" facts are needed to portray the overuse of