Picture and promise lower antibiotic Rx

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Scientific American reports that a low-cost doctor-patient intervention can drive down unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions: a signed commitment not to prescribe such drugs, with the doctor's picture attached, on display in the waiting room. The small study focused on clinics in Los Angeles, where researchers found that doctors who displayed such a commitment wrote 20% fewer antibiotic prescriptions during the flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says close to half of prescribed antibiotics should not have been written.

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