12.8% of all prescribers in 2021 wrote prescriptions for topical antifungals.

12.8% of 2021 prescribers prescribed topical antifungals.

Thursday, January 11, 2024 — According to a study in the Jan. 11 issue of the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 12.8% of unique prescribers in Medicare Part D wrote prescriptions for topical antifungals in 2021. About 6.5 million prescriptions were filled, costing a total of $231 million.

The CDC in Atlanta’s Kaitlin Benedict, M.P.H., and her colleagues looked at 2021 Medicare Part D records to find out how many prescriptions for topical antifungals were written, how often they were written, and how much they cost. It was looked at how many prescriptions were written by higher-volume (top 10 percent of prescribers by number) and lower-volume prescribers.

At a cost of $231 million, about 6.5 million prescriptions for topical antifungals were given in 2021, which is about 134 prescriptions per 1,000 people who were eligible. Overall, 12.8% of the 1,017,417 different prescribers gave out external antifungals. Four out of ten prescriptions were made by primary care doctors. Nurse practitioners or physician assistants came in second with 21.4%, followed by dermatologists with 17.6% and podiatrists with 14.1%. 44.2 percent (2.9 million) of all medications were written by doctors who write a lot of them.

“The substantial volume of topical antifungal and antifungal-corticosteroid prescriptions among Medicare Part D beneficiaries in the setting of emerging resistant infections underscores the need to evaluate current practices of topical antifungal use,” the writers say.

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