Subjects: Public health
When Giant Food began offering free antibiotics to shoppers in the DC area, it was just catching up with competitors like ShopRite, Stop and Shop and Wegman’s.
We “are committed to improving the health and wellness in our communities during the winter season when families are susceptible to coughs, colds, and bacteria-borne illnesses,” the Giant’s Andrea Astrachan said back in December at the time of the launch.
Forget that antibiotics don’t work against viruses, the proud sponsors of cold and flu season!
Don’t worry that inappropriate use of antibiotics spreads MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus which can maim, even kill!
Overlook the study in Clinical Infectious Diseases which found that antibiotics trigger 142,000 ED visits per year, mostly to deal with allergic reactions!
“Taking an antibiotic when you don’t need it won’t help you, and may in fact do more harm than good,” Anne Gershon understated to BurrillReport.
The president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America added that “at a time when… few new antibiotics are being developed, supermarkets need to be responsible in how they promote antibiotics.”
Recently, the IDSA and the CDC asked supermarkets to help promote a CDC-sponsored consumer education program known as “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work.”
Meanwhile Jamie Miller, Giant Food’s public affairs director reminded everyone that the policy is helpful to consumers battered by The Great Economic Crisis.
“Doctors who prescribe antibiotics are…making decisions on what they feel is best…and oftentimes that is a prescription for an antibiotic and we are there to help.” Miller told Burrill.
And next year maybe Giant Foods’ll just go with a flu shot campaign and leave it at that.