I mentioned on an MPR radio show that I bought 2 lbs of Aureomycin (chlortetracycline) online without being asked whether I had a prescription.
As often happens when I talk about this, I ran into some disbelief: people protesting that, come on, surely you can’t just walk into a store and buy antibiotics, can you? Almost 99 percent (sum of the yellow boxes) of the antibiotics sold for use in food animals in the US are sold over the counter, that is, without a prescription.
In response, I posted a picture of two pounds of aureomycin (generic name, chlortetracycline) that I bought online without anyone asking me anything except my credit card number. Simultaneously, Twitter follower Jonathan Sellman, MD, an infectious diseases specialist in the Twin Cities who heard me discuss this on MPR News with Kerri Miller, grew impatient with a caller who didn’t believe this happens, and decided to demonstrate that it does. I don’t know whether attacking feed supply stores is appropritate for the large antibiotic issue. Look at this from the perspective of someone who keeps a small flock of hens or a small backyard type farm. Maryn McKenna is an award-winning journalist and the author of two critically acclaimed books, Superbug (2010) and Beating Back the Devil (2004).
At Germination, she'll explore public health, global health, and food production and policy: ancient diseases, emerging infections, antibiotic resistance, agricultural planning, foodborne illness, and how we'll feed an increasingly crowded world.


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The goal here is to build more accountability into antibiotics purchase and use, because any misuse creates the possibility of resistance; and there is more use of antibiotics in agriculture, by sheer volume, than in human medicine.


He went down to a local farm-supply store, photographed several shelves full of antibiotics, and tweeted the images. The answer to the question, Is it really as easy as it seems to buy antibiotics over the counter, and to use them without anyone looking over your shoulder to make sure you use them correctly?, is: Yes, actually, it is.
She writes for Wired, Scientific American, Slate, Nature, the Atlantic, the Guardian and others, and is a Senior Fellow of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.
Phenomena is hosted by National Geographic magazine, which invites you to join the conversation.
Formula 1 has opted to lift its controversial ban on radio transmissions with immediate effect. He was soon backed up by Tim Johnson, PhD, a professor who researches antibiotic resistance, and by Peter Bornstein, MD, MBA, another infectious diseases physician; they both contributed images and links.




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