Farm Pens and Prescription Pads

Fall 2006 - Volume 10 Number 3

Physicians and medical centers are the front lines of the battle against antibiotic resistance in infectious bacteria. Government agencies, professional organizations, and health care corporations have developed various directives and control mechanisms to help guide physicians toward prescribing practices that minimize the development and dissemination of antibiotic resistance. But as Jeffrey Ritterman, MD, points out in "Preventing Antibiotic Resistance:The Next Step," (page 35) the quantity of antibiotics routinely administered to livestock and poultry as feed additives appears to dwarf human use. The evidence that using antibiotics as feed additives contributes significantly to the problem of antibiotic resistance in humans has been acknowledged by the major medical associations, including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, and dozens of others, leading them to call for an end to this practice.


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