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Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2015 Aug;46(2):140-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2015.04.007. Epub 2015 May 28.

The need for cost-effectiveness analyses of antimicrobial stewardship programmes: A structured review.

Author information

1
Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, QLD, 4059, Australia. Electronic address: sonali.coulter@qut.edu.au.
2
Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, 60 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane, QLD, 4059, Australia.
3
Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, Brisbane, QLD, 4029, Australia.

Abstract

The cost effectiveness of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes was reviewed in hospital settings of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, and limited to adult patient populations. In each of the 36 studies, the type of AMS strategy and the clinical and cost outcomes were evaluated. The main AMS strategy implemented was prospective audit with intervention and feedback (PAIF), followed by the use of rapid technology, including rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) technology, for the treatment of bloodstream infections. All but one of the 36 studies reported that AMS resulted in a reduction in pharmacy expenditure. Among 27 studies measuring changes to health outcomes, either no change was reported post-AMS, or the additional benefits achieved from these outcomes were not quantified. Only two studies performed a full economic evaluation: one on a PAIF-based AMS intervention; and the other on use of rapid technology for the selection of appropriate treatment for serious Staphylococcus aureus infections. Both studies found the interventions to be cost effective. AMS programmes achieved a reduction in pharmacy expenditure, but there was a lack of consistency in the reported cost outcomes making it difficult to compare between interventions. A failure to capture complete costs in terms of resource use makes it difficult to determine the true cost of these interventions. There is an urgent need for full economic evaluations that compare relative changes both in clinical and cost outcomes to enable identification of the most cost-effective AMS strategies in hospitals.

KEYWORDS:

Antimicrobial stewardship; Cost effectiveness; Economic evaluation; Rapid technology

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