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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2014 Oct;20(10):973-80. doi: 10.1111/1469-0691.12798. Epub 2014 Nov 7.

Economic burden of antibiotic resistance: how much do we really know?

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Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, Washington, DC, USA.


The declining effectiveness of antibiotics imposes potentially large health and economic burdens on societies. Quantifying the economic outcomes of antibiotic resistance effectively can help policy-makers and healthcare professionals to set priorities, but determining the actual effect of antibiotic resistance on clinical outcomes is a necessary first step. In this article, we review and discuss the contributions and limitations of studies that estimate the disease burden attributable to antibiotic resistance and studies that estimate the economic burden of resistance. We also consider other factors that are important in a comprehensive approach to evaluating the economic burden of antibiotic resistance.


Antibiotic resistance; attributable morbidity and mortality; economics

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