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 . 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.