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Outpatient Antibiotic Use and Costs in Adults: A Nationwide Register-Based Study in Finland 2008-2019

Julkaistu 22.10.2022


The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of outpatient use and costs for systemic antibacterials by age and sex among adults in Finland from 2008–2019. Data from the Finnish statistical database Kelasto, containing information concerning all reimbursed medicines for 18+-year-olds during 2008–2019, were analyzed. In addition to the decreased (26%) use of systemic antibiotics, decreased use was observed in all antibiotic categories, notably including several wide-spectrum antibiotics. The use of quinolones decreased by 49% and of tetracyclines by 39%. The 10 most frequently used antibiotics covered 89% of all adult antibiotic prescriptions. Antibiotic use also decreased in every age group during the study period. Although the overall yearly costs of outpatient antibiotics during the 10-year study period decreased from EUR 36.4 million to EUR 30.7 million, the cost per prescription increased slightly. In conclusion, according to the findings of this study, concerning adults and the results of our previous study concerning children and adolescents (2008–2016), there has been a decreasing trend of outpatient antibacterial use among the whole Finnish outpatient population over the duration of nearly one decade. However, during the same time period, there has been a specific increasing trend for the Gram-negative AMR threat regarding E. coli resistance. Therefore, based on our important findings in Finland, methods other than the restriction of antibiotic use, such as new anti-infective innovations, including antibacterials, are needed as soon as possible to tackle this major global health threat—a silent pandemic.

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Elisa Pyörälä, Kati Sepponen, Anneli Lauhio, Leena Saastamoinen 

Lisätietoja julkaisusta

  • Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
  • Avoin saatavuus: kyllä.
  • Koko viite: Pyörälä, E., Sepponen, K., Lauhio, A., & Saastamoinen, L. (2022). Outpatient Antibiotic Use and Costs in Adults: A Nationwide Register-Based Study in Finland 2008-2019. Antibiotics (Basel, Switzerland), 11(11), 1453.

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