JAMA: Antibiotic prescribing rate for acute bronchitis at 70% when it should be zero
CHICAGO — Despite clear evidence of ineffectiveness, guidelines and more than 15 years of educational efforts stating that the antibiotic prescribing rate for acute bronchitis should be zero, the rate was about 70% from 1996 to 2010 and increased during this time period, according to a study in the May 21 issue of JAMA.
"Avoidance of antibiotic overuse for acute bronchitis should be a cornerstone of quality health care," stated Michael Barnett, co-author from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. "Antibiotic overuse for acute bronchitis is straightforward to measure. Physicians, health systems, payers and patients should collaborate to create more accountability and decrease antibiotic overuse.
Acute bronchitis is a cough-predominant respiratory illness of less than three weeks’ duration. For more than 40 years, trials have shown that antibiotics are not effective for this condition. Despite this, between 1980 and 1999, the rate of antibiotic prescribing for acute bronchitis was between 60% and 80% in the United States. During the past 15 years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has led efforts to decrease prescribing of antibiotics for acute bronchitis. Since 2005, a Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set measure has stated that the antibiotic prescribing rate for acute bronchitis should be zero, according to background information in the article.
Researchers found that of 3,153 sampled acute bronchitis visits between 1996 and 2010 that met study inclusion criteria, the overall antibiotic prescription rate was 71% and increased during this time period. There was a significant increase in antibiotic prescribing in emergency departments. Physicians prescribed extended macrolides (a type of antibiotics) at 36% of acute bronchitis visits, and extended macrolide prescribing increased from 25% of visits in 1996 to 1998 to 41% in 2008-2010. Other antibiotics were prescribed at 35% of visits.
Teva receives FDA nod for QVAR
JERUSALEM — Teva Pharmaceutical on Friday announced that the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of QVAR (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) with a dose counter for the treatment of asthma in patients 5 years of age and older.
The counter will help asthma patients and their caregivers keep track of the number of remaining doses in the canister. It will be commercially available later this year, according to the company.
“Inhaled corticosteroid treatments, like QVAR, should be taken daily by patients with mild-to-moderate persistent asthma to reduce inflammation in the airways and prevent asthma symptoms,” said Dr. Gene Colice, director of pulmonary, critical care and respiratory services at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. “By using QVAR with a dose counter, patients will be able to easily track their daily doses of medication and help ensure that they are taking QVAR as prescribed by their doctor.
Reports: CVS Caremark mulls acquisition of Brazil’s DPSP
SÃO PAULO — CVS Caremark is reportedly looking to further expand its presence in Brazil by acquiring Drogarias Pacheco São Paulo, also known as DPSP, according to news reports.
Following the alleged rejection of its first offer of 4.5 billion Brazilian reais ($2 billion), CVS is reportedly looking to possibly make another offer, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing the local newspaper Valor Economico. DPSP has reportedly set a minimum price for the company at BRL5.9 billion.
CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis told Drug Store News that the company does “not comment on market rumors.”
In 2013, the retailer acquired privately held Brazilian drug store chain Onofre, the eighth-largest drug chain in Brazil, marking its foray into the international drug store space.
During CVS’ Annual Shareholder Meeting earlier this month, CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo said of the Onofre acquisition that the company has several pilots underway that are “going well,” and he sees opportunity for further growth within Brazil’s highly fragmented market.