Duration Health

Misuse

What about antibiotic stewardship?

It’s estimated that 1 in 3 antibiotic prescriptions are written inappropriately, most often for common colds, viral sore throats, and other upper respiratory infections that do not respond to antibiotics [1]. These 47 million inappropriate prescriptions per year result not only in antibiotic resistance, but in allergic reactions, diarrhea, and other unnecessary complications. In this context, prophylactic prescribing of antibiotics is a serious issue. None of the prescriptions a Duration Health patient might be prescribed should be used to treat common colds, viral sore throats, or other upper respiratory infections that do not respond to antibiotics — and our patients are educated about this, as well as the circumstances in which a particular antibiotic should and should not be taken — before they ever receive a prescription.

Further, unlike the antibiotic prescriptions described above, we anticipate that most of the antibiotic prescriptions written by Duration Health providers will actually never be used. Although our bag in some instances includes antibiotics, each and every medication in the bag is intended for use in true emergencies only. Indeed, it is intended for use in a last resort scenario — where a traveler has no access to a doctor, hospital, or other medical care, and cannot obtain such access in the near future due to their remote location (or other similar factors). All Duration Health patients are required to accept these conditions and restrictions. With these important steps in place, the public health benefit Duration Health provides via emergency access to potentially life-saving medications can outweigh the potential risks of antibiotic overuse or misuse.

Does Duration Health provide a mechanism for patients to return unused medications?

Yes, we'll help you return unused medications to us by mail, facilitated by our partner pharmacy, and we require that you return medications once they're expired.

What if someone overdoses on the medications?

Each of the prescription medications that a Duration Health provider may prescribe is specifically chosen for its safety profile. For example, acetaminophen (Tylenol®), available at any drug store, is considered more dangerous in overdose than nearly every medication we provide. In addition, our patients receive specific instruction regarding the risks of accidental and intentional overdose.

Ultimately, there is no doubt that medications can be dangerous. And our product isn't appropriate for everyone. But Duration Health is here to help educate you about your health and medication usage so that, in consultation with one of our providers, you can make an informed decision about whether a prophylactic prescription is something you need based on your upcoming activities and are interested in given the risks and benefits. Of course, only your provider can decide, based on your medical history and other factors, whether it is medically appropriate to provide you with such prescriptions.

The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately.