Becky's Policy Paper

Becky Lenhart
Antibiotics for Viral Illnesses

Antibiotics are used very frequently for patients of all ages. Researchers are coming up with new and innovative antibiotics to help patients with different diseases to help cure them. Since antibiotics are used all the time, some bacteria have developed antibiotic resistance to some of the drugs we take. Antibiotic resistance has resulted from treating patients with antibiotics for viral illnesses. Patients and parents of their young children do not realize that antibiotics do not work for viral illnesses. This policy will help regulate the use of antibiotics on people with viral illnesses.
Antibiotic resistance will make it harder to help cure people in the future. Bacteria that cause disease will be more resistant, possibly causing more deaths, so we will have to use more drugs. The cost of more drugs could go up to because more people will want them (FDA, 2008). Antibiotics are not to be used with viruses. Viruses have to heal on their own. In some cases, a doctor prescribing a antibiotic for a viruses could actually make the illness worse (FDA, 2008).
Many prescriptions that the doctors write every year are not necessary. The reason why doctors write them is many times because of the parents. When kids contract a viral illness, the parents want to make their child feel better, when really the virus just has to “take its course” as many doctors say. Many parents get mad that the doctors do not do anything for their child, so many parents will demand for some kind of medication (CDC, 2008). Doctors will then write out prescriptions for antibiotics when they are not necessary. The bacteria is actually becoming immune to the antibiotic, so when kids get sick and actually need the antibiotic, they will be resistant to the medicine and it will not work as well if even at all (Stivers, Rita, Elliot, McDonald, & Heritage, 2003).
It has been suggested that some doctors do not want to be spending so much time trying to explain the illness or medications to the patient (Cadieux, Tamblyn, Dauphinee, & Libman, 2007). Doctors are there to teach their patients how to get better and what they can and cannot do. In a study done by Dr. Robert T. Sataloff, he showed that doctors who were in the profession longer were actually more likely to inappropriately subscribe the antibiotics than new doctors (Sataloff, 2006). This policy will help educate doctors and patients better about antibiotics, and also help monitor and regulate who is getting them.
I. Policy
A) Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Company will not pay for antibiotics for viral infections.
B) The insurance company will send out pamphlets to their customers to educate them about viral infections as well has to help them learn more about them as well too.
C) The company will have a caption of $300 for all antibiotic prescriptions per year per person to help decrease antibiotic resistance.
D) People who do not need more than 2 antibiotics a year will get rewarded with a discount on their coverage for that year.
If insurance companies do not cover the medicine then it will lower the use of antibiotics, thus lowering antibiotic resistance as well. Also by giving rewards to people who do not use antibiotics as much it helps encourage parents to get them for their children as much too. Education is one of the best factors of the policy because it will help teach everyone more about these illnesses so that they are treated right. All of these factors will help control antibiotic resistance and slow the process down.
1. Cadieux, G., Tamblyn, R., Dauphinee, D., & Libman, M. (2007). Predictors of Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing Among Primary Care Physicians. Canadian Medical Association Journal, Volume 177 Issue 8. Pgs 877-883.
2. CDC. (2008, August 18). What Everyone Should Know and Do With Antibiotics. Retrieved September 23, 2008, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
3. FDA. (2008, May 1). Combating Antibiotic Resistance. Retrieved September 23, 2008, from
4. Sataloff, R. T. (2006). Viral resistance: Deja Vu? ENT: Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, Volume 85 Issue 4. Pgs 206-207.
5. Stivers, T., Rita, S.-M. R., Elliot, N. M., McDonald, L., & Heritage, L. (2003). Why Do Physicians Think Parents Expect Antibiotics? What Parents Report VS What Physicians Believe. Journal Of Family Practice, Volume 52 Issue 2. Pgs 140-148.

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