ResistanceMap Visualizations on Antibiotic Use Prompt Reflection in U.S. Southeast

22 Nov 2011
Andrea Titus

ResistanceMap's data visualizations on outpatient antibiotic consumption in the United States have been making waves in the U.S. Southeast, where per capita prescribing rates are highest.  Check out this piece from ABC affiliate WATE in Knoxville, on Tennessee’s 3rd highest rate of antibiotic dispensing in the United States:

 

This follows coverage in the Tennessean: Tennessee ranks 3rd in antibiotic use, and an article in USA Today: Antibiotic use higher in East than West.

Why per capita antibiotic dispensing in some areas of the Southeast is nearly double that of Western states like Oregon or Alaska has yet to be fully explained, but it is at least in part due to patient demand and the physician's willingness to acquiesce. From the Knox County Health Department: "the patient comes in with the expectation that they need to leave with a prescription, and the doctor wants to meet that expectation, so they feel like they have to give them something." For more on the culture of prescribing in the Southeast, read this take on the data from Dr. Daniel Saman and Dr. Kevin Kavanagh of Health Watch USA in Kentucky. 

Image credit: Flickr: dammit_jill

Antibiotic Resistance