By Recode staff Reporter Amy ChengThe Associated PressA new study shows doctors in California and New York are still using antibiotics prescribed by a federal government agency.
The study was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says it found antibiotic use in some of the country’s most populous states was not only high but was also rising.
It says antibiotics prescribed in 2014 and 2015 are still in use by about 25 percent of doctors, while in 2016 it was at 31 percent.
The authors say that despite the increase in antibiotics, doctors are still prescribing antibiotics to patients.
“The problem is that our healthcare system has become more and more reliant on antibiotics.
They have become the primary tool that we use to treat chronic illnesses,” said Dr. James Martin, who was a researcher in the study.
In California, antibiotic use has jumped from 1.6 percent in 2014 to 2.6 percentage points in 2016.
New York saw the biggest jump from 1 percent to 2 percent.
Martin says the increased use of antibiotics is “a major public health problem” and is the result of a lack of oversight and monitoring by health departments.
He says the trend could have far-reaching consequences for patients and the environment.
“This is going to cause a lot of health problems for the future, including for people’s health,” Martin said.
The Centers for Diseases Control and Protection says there are over 2.5 million antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S., and many are written for routine and non-urgent conditions.
Martin and others say the rise in antibiotic use may have an effect on the effectiveness of the drugs in treating infections.
“If we’re not getting the drugs we need, then what we’re doing is not helping,” Martin told Recode.
“That’s a huge problem.
This has got to be addressed.”
In the study, doctors were asked to list the antibiotics they were prescribed for the year, and they were then given a list of 10 drugs that had been approved for use in treating a specific condition.
Doctors also were asked how often they used them, how often it was done, and how often their patients were treated with these drugs.
More:The researchers found the prescribing rate rose from 0.5 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2016, and the use rate increased from 0 percent in 2015 to 6.5 per 1,000 patients.
The trend is the opposite in the states that are not among the most heavily-populated in the country, where the number of antibiotics prescriptions has been relatively flat.
California’s rate of prescribing increased from 2.3 percent in 2011 to 3 percent in 2017.
In New York, the use of these drugs rose from 4.6 to 7.5, and their prescribing rate increased by 6.9 to 17.2 percent.
Both the rate and the increase for both states were in line with previous studies, but Martin says that this is the first time that doctors were asking patients for data that was not part of the usual prescribing.
He said he and his colleagues will be working with the state to improve data collection and tracking of antibiotic use.
“What we want to do is track antibiotic use to see what’s happening, to see where we are and where we need to be to make sure that we’re getting the right drugs for the right people,” Martin added.