The most common prescriptions for antibiotics in France are those used in the treatment of respiratory infections, both in hospital and in general practice. They represent 10% of the total drug bill and about 1.5 to 2% of the total expenses of medical care. Antibiotics are often presented excessively or irrationally either because the proper indications were not firmly established or because unnecessarily powerful preparations were used. This is illustrated by two examples (among others), namely uncomplicated pneumococcal pneumonia and chronic bronchitis. More economic solutions are not easy and the current lack approach should not be replaced by a dogmatic one. Two immediate measures would hold the attention of respiratory physicians: the publication of a guide to antibiotic therapy in respiratory disease and periodic audits of antibiotic usage.