ALTHOUGH I APPLAUD antibiotic stewardship efforts across the country (“Prescribing too many antibiotics?” February), we would be remiss not to mention the biggest driver of multidrug resistant organisms on a massive scale: antibiotic use in our livestock and crops. Both ID pharmacists and ID physicians know that this culprit is causing far more harm than prolonged antibiotic usage in hospitals.
This is not to say that we prescribers should not use caution, and we do need to be consistently vigilant about patients’ need for antibiotics. But we should also not exaggerate the effects of prescribers. When setting policy and goals, we must make sure those policies are transparent and that they address the full range of a very big problem.
John Foster, MD, PhD