To examine trends in pediatric antibiotic prescribing in physician offices, CDC analyzed data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS) for the period 1993–1994 to 2007–2008. Their report summarizes the results of that analysis.
In children aged 14 years or younger who had visited physician offices, antibiotic prescribing decreased 24% – from 300 antibiotic courses per 1,000 office visits in 1993-1994; to 229 antibiotic courses per 1,000 office visits in 2007-2008. Among the five acute respiratory infections (ARIs) examined, antibiotic prescribing rates decreased 26% for pharyngitis and 19% for nonspecific upper respiratory infection (common cold); prescribing rates for otitis media, bronchitis, and sinusitis did not change significantly.
However, while there was a reduction in prescribing, CDC conclude that antibiotic use is still high, and that further efforts are required to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescription.
Link to the press release from CDC: Office-Related Antibiotic Prescribing for Persons Aged ?14 Years — United States, 1993–1994 to 2007–2008.