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Antimicrobial Prescribing in the United States: Good News, Bad News

Richard E. Besser, MD
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From Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Atlanta, GA 30333

Requests for Single Reprints: Richard E. Besser, MD, Respiratory Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road (MS C23), Atlanta, GA 30333; e-mail, rbesser@cdc.gov.

Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(7):605-606. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-138-7-200304010-00020
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Antimicrobial resistance is a global public health problem facing both the developed and developing world (1). It affects our ability to treat infections of major international importance, such as HIV infection, tuberculosis, and malaria, as well as common infections primary care physicians face daily, such as otitis media, sinusitis, and pneumonia. During the 1990s, pneumococcal drug resistance rose dramatically. By 1998, 24% of invasive isolates in the United States were resistant to penicillin and 14% were resistant to three or more drug classes (2).

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