A new study reveals how increased antibiotic usage by seniors in America might be related to an improved Medicare drug coverage.
The largest increases in antibiotics were newer, more expensive drugs and occurred after the introduction of the Medicare Part D plan.
Experts analyzed antibiotic use of 35,102 seniors two years prior to and after the Medicare Part D was implemented. The plan was said to decrease out-of-pocket prescription costs between 13 and 23 percent.
Researchers discovered antibiotic use increased when out-of-pocket costs decreased from the Medicare Part D plan implementation.
Antibiotic usage increased the most among seniors with no coverage before the Medicare plan. The report explained increases were also widely evident when examining seniors who previous held only limited drug coverage.
Research showed antibiotic usage to treat pneumonia increased 300% among seniors with no prior coverage after implementation of the Medicare Part D.
Increases in drug coverage allow researchers to believe the potential treatment of the high mortality pneumonia, largely acquired from those living in close proximity, is very promising.