When you or your family is sick, you'll try anything to feel better. But one popular request isn't always the right one, and a local urgent care office has pulled its controversial advertisement after Channel 4 started asking questions.
The urgent care ad shows a little girl wiping her nose with the message, "When you need an antibiotic, not an appointment." You may have recently seen the advertisement for local Urgent Team offices in your newspaper.
But the ad has many Tennessee doctors fired up, especially the vice president of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"My first reaction is that this is a company who's trying to make it look like every child that has a runny nose needs an antibiotic, and that is so far from the truth," said Dr. Michelle Fiscus.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says Tennessee is one of the leading states for over-prescribing antibiotics.
Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, says that has serious consequences.
"The more antibiotics we use inappropriately, the more bacteria tends to become resistant, and then the antibiotics don't work, not only on you, but also your neighbors. And, all of sudden, we don't have the resources available to treat you when we need to treat you," Schaffner said.
But since Channel 4 News started asking questions about the ad, Urgent Team removed it from its advertising campaign.
Marissa Chachra, spokeswoman for Urgent Team, said in a statement:
"Urgent Team recognizes there has been a growing concern throughout the U.S. regarding the use of antibiotics for all ages and over-prescribing medications. Our highly trained medical professionals follow evidence based guidelines to ensure our patients receive prescribed medications according to established care standards."
One pediatrician says she's relieved the ad has been pulled, saying it sends the wrong message and undermines years of work doctors have been trying to do.
"We have tried for so long as a medical community to get parents to understand antibiotics are not the go-to medication for children and illnesses. Most of what children have are caused by viruses, and they'll go away," Fiscus said.
The advertisement was running in Middle Tennessee newspapers and was just one of many ads in a new campaign for Urgent Team. The company says its only intention behind the advertisement was to differentiate the company's services from an emergency room or doctor's office. The ad had two weeks left in circulation but Urgent Team says it will not be replaced with another ad.
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