Research revealed during "Get Smart Week" shows that California joined Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington as the five states with the lowest antibiotic use in the nation in 2010. "Get Smart Week" is a national partnership launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics. The five states with the highest rates of antibiotic use in the nation that year were Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
Much of the decrease in California can be attributed to the statewide campaign launched by the California Medical Association (CMA) Foundation in 2000. Together with over 80 organizations and hundreds of active volunteers, the Foundation's Alliance Working for Antibiotic Resistance Education (AWARE) has grown to be the largest, most collaborative project of its kind in the nation.
"The results of education campaigns like the Get Smart/AWARE program in California have had a tremendous impact on the decreased use of antibiotics," said Dean Blumberg, M.D., Associate Professor, Pediatric Infectious Diseases, UC Davis. "Since 1999, the percentage of antibiotic prescriptions filled nationwide had dropped by 17 percent. While this is a phenomenal achievement, we must be vigilant about education so that the regions of the country which are disproportionally prescribing antibiotics for viral infections can also see a decrease."