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Free Cefixime in Community Health Centers

Cynthia Carmichael, MD; Kevin Carmichael, MD
JAMA. 1990;264(20):2623. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450200031010.
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To the Editor. —  As family practitioners working in community health centers, we were dismayed to receive a letter (March 1, 1990) informing us of the National Association of Community Health Centers' involvement with the "Suprax Family Health Fund." Lederle Laboratories has donated $10 million worth of cefixime to be distributed free of charge to patients at community health clinics. Cefixime, a third-generation cephalosporin, is marketed by Lederle for "the treatment of otitis media, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, acute bronchitis, acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis, and uncomplicated urinary tract infections."The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics reviewed clinical trials comparing cefixime with amoxicillin and cefaclor in the treatment of urinary tract infection, otitis media, pharyngitis, and bronchitis and concludes that "cefixime... demonstrated no clinical advantage over previously available drugs including some that cost much less."2 We are concerned that using a third-generation cephalosporin to treat uncomplicated infections may select for


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