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Coming on the heels of stories over the past few weeks about companies such as Stop & Shop, Giant, ShopRite and Wegmans offering free antibiotics to shoppers, the Newark Star-Ledger offers a cautionary note: “The supermarkets say their aim is to make life easier for customers, especially during hard economic times, but public health experts say they may be making a dangerous situation worse.

“Antibiotics are natural and synthetically made substances that fight bacterial infections by killing or slowing down the growth of germs. For years, however, the effectiveness of some antibiotics has dramatically decreased through overuse, which is why public health experts fear the advertising of free antibiotics only encourages their undiscriminating use … antibiotics are never effective against viral infections, and because most colds are viral and not bacterial, the distribution of free antibiotics sends the wrong message to consumers and degrades the reputation of a precious medical resource.”

KC's View:
I get the point on this one, but isn’t the real issue with doctors who overprescribe antibiotics, not with people who take them?