Addressing Antibiotic Prescribing Inequities


Evidence demonstrates how these therapies are prescribed around patients’ races.

It is well-known that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the health inequities experienced amongst the different races in the United States. For example, there been studies pointing to vaccine inequities ranging from people of color not being involved in COVID-19 vaccine trials to issues of access for these vaccines.

These inequities expand further into medical care including antibiotic prescribing practices explains Zanthia Wiley, MD associate professor of Medicine Emory University Atlanta, GA. She is serving in a number of capacities at this year’s IDWeek 2022 including acting as a moderator and giving a presentation, “Health Equity Considerations in Antibiotic Prescribing.”

In her presentation, she lays out these inequities. According to her research, both Hispanics and Black people are prescribed less antibiotics than their White counterparts. Wiley makes the distinction that its not about giving more antibiotics to people of color, but rather understanding there are these differences and account for them.

“What we would hope for is not that Blacks and Hispanics would receive more antibiotics than they currently are; because what we know is most antibiotics prescribed, especially outpatients, are prescribed inappropriately,” Wiley said. “So, it’s identifying and recognizing that we have these inequities and figuring out what we are going to do to move forward to eliminate inequities.”

Wiley spoke to Contagion further about these inequities and some of the strategies to address them.

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