Prospects for Control of Antibiotic Usage

  • Calvin M. Kunin
Part of the Chemotherapy book series (CT, volume 4)


Antibiotic usage is excessive because of the many constraints placed on the physician in caring for patients. These include high expectation by the patient for rapid cure of often minor nonbacterial infection; the difficulty in making an accurate diagnosis in ambulatory practice; the need to treat seriously ill patients prior to availability of definitive bacteriologic informations and delays and costs of obtaining laboratory information. The physician’s desire to help his patient and “fear of failure” overrides considerations of cost and potential toxicity. The situation is aggravated, but not caused by aggressive promotion by the pharmaceutical industry. Control must be directed toward correcting the multiple causes of the problem. Measures should include: 1) education of the public on the value and limitations of antimicrobials, 2) improved medical education in practical clinical microbiology and clinical pharmacology, 3) development and use of rapid and simplified bacteriologic and antimicrobial susceptibility tests particularly for office practice, 4) training of more infectious disease consultants, 5) post-graduate education of physicians based on audit and peer review, 6) development of acceptable guidelines for prophylaxis particularly in surgery, and 7) limitation of excessive and unwarranted promotion of antimicrobials.


Postgraduate Training Antibiotic Usage Office Practice Antibiotic Sensitivity Test Rapid Cure 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Calvin M. Kunin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineVeterans Administration Hospital and the University of Wisconsin School of MedicineMadisonUSA

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