The writer of this op-ed piece does, indeed, bring up a very important potential public health hazard. He fails, however, to mention the main source of the problem: physicians. It is, after all, physicians who prescribe the medications; patients cannot secure them on their own.
Therefore, a campaign must be instituted to emphasize the problem to medical students and to those doctors out in the community. Medical societies and state licensing boards must hammer it home and promote their not succumbing to patient pressure when they know that an antibiotic is not indicated. That process is a difficult one but, with time, it can be accomplished.
Perhaps the piece should have been more properly titled ‘Physicians must stop overprescribing antibiotics’.
Gerald Gershten, M.D.