Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 17, Issue 6, pp 207–213 | Cite as

Audit of antibiotic usage in a medium-sized general hospital over an 11-year period

The impact of antibiotic policies
  • James C. McElnay
  • Michael G. Scott
  • Justin Y. Sidara
  • Patricia Kearney


The objective of the present study was to evaluate trends in antibiotic expenditure over an 11-year period (1982–1992) in a 370-bed district general hospital in Northern Ireland and to examine the impact of two separate antibiotic policies on antibiotic usage. A further objective was to examine the attitudes of prescribers to the second policy. Drug utilization review was used to collect information on antibiotic expenditure and usage before and after introduction of separate antibiotic policies in 1985 (not intensively monitored) and 1989 (intensively monitored). A mail questionnaire was used to determine the attitudes of prescribers. The first policy (1985) showed no benefits with regard to the number of antibiotic entities stocked (45 before, 45 after), number of dosage units issued (9.3% increase) or expenditure (33.3% increase). The 1989 policy led to significant reductions in the number of antibiotic entities stocked (28.9%), number of antibiotics issued (11.9%) and expenditure (6.1%). Expenditure began to spiral upwards when active monitoring of the second policy was suspended. The majority of prescribers (87.2%) who responded to the questionnaire (56.5% response rate) felt that the 1989 policy made a positive contribution to antibiotic usage in the hospital.


Antibiotics Attitude of health personnel Cost control Drug and therapeutics committee Drug utilization Formularies, hospital Pharmacoeconomics 


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Copyright information

© Royal Dutch Association for the Advancement of Pharmacy 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • James C. McElnay
    • 1
  • Michael G. Scott
    • 1
  • Justin Y. Sidara
    • 1
  • Patricia Kearney
    • 2
  1. 1.Pharmacy Practice Research Group, School of PharmacyThe Queen's University of BelfastBelfastN. Ireland
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyWaveney HospitalBallymenaN. Ireland

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