Announcement: Get Smart About Antibiotics Week — November 14–20, 2016

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Get Smart About Antibiotics Week is November 14–20, 2016. This annual observance is intended to engage health care providers, professional societies, advocacy groups, for-profit companies, state and local health departments, the general public, the media, and others in an effort to improve antibiotic stewardship in outpatient, inpatient, nursing home, and animal health settings. During this week, participants will raise awareness of the threat of antibiotic resistance and emphasize the importance of appropriate antibiotic use across all health care settings. Get Smart About Antibiotics Week coincides with the World Health Organization’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week and European Antibiotic Awareness Day (November 18). In addition to the United States and European Union, other participating countries and international organizations include Australia, Canada, and the Pan American Health Organization.

Antibiotic use is the single most important contributing factor to antibiotic resistance in patients. An estimated one third to one half of antibiotic use in humans is either unnecessary or inappropriate in selection, dosing, or duration of treatment. Each year in the United States, 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions are written in doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, and hospital-based clinics, which makes improving antibiotic prescribing and use a national priority. To prevent further emergence of antibiotic resistance while providing safe, high-quality patient care, antibiotics must be used appropriately. This means prescribing antibiotics only when needed and, if they are needed, using them judiciously and correctly.

Preventing the emergence and spread of antibiotic-resistant infections and protecting the nation’s health is a CDC priority. CDC has identified four Core Elements of Outpatient Antibiotic Stewardship and will release a document on this topic during Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. A webinar will be offered on November 15 at 1 pm EDT; information is available at

Suggested citation for this article: Announcement: Get Smart About Antibiotics Week — November 14–20, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1240. DOI:

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