The Wal-Mart effect: Free antibiotics

Some local pharmacies are giving antibiotics away for free to compete with Wal-Mart’s $4 generics. Will this lead to continuing overuse? Very likely:

From a patient care standpoint, I see this as a real problem. Wal-mart had the right idea, kind of, with offering some discounted chronic medicines – like blood pressure medicines and antidepressants. But, offering antibiotics?

Many studies have shown that you don’t need an antibiotic every time you get a respiratory infection. And, I even admit, if I’m on the fence for a diagnosis, I err on the side of possibly a bacterial infection, and I prescribe the antibiotic.