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Health Econ. 2003 Feb;12(2):125-38.

Deadweight loss of bacterial resistance due to overtreatment.

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US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta 30341, USA.


Widespread use of antibiotics is considered the major driving force behind the development of antibiotic resistance. The benefits of exceeding the welfare-maximizing level of antibiotic use are below the costs of resistance created by this excess quantity of antibiotics used, thereby resulting in a welfare deadweight loss. This paper uses a simple economic model to examine the theoretical and empirical aspects of the welfare loss generated by resistance and analyzes its policy implications. The annual deadweight loss associated with outpatient prescriptions for amoxicillin in the United States is estimated at US dollars 225 million.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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