Sales of systemic anti-infective agents in Cyprus in comparison with four other European countries

  • Christos HadjimichaelEmail author
  • Kyriacos Georgiou
  • George Samoutis
  • Evros Demetriades



To determine the pattern of systemic antibiotic sales in Cyprus during the years 1990–1993 and 1996 and make a comparison with other four European countries.


The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification and the Defined Daily Dose (DDD) methodology according to the WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines were employed and data in wholesales were used. The results were presented as DDD/1000 inhabitants/day and were compared with similar results from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Greece. Data from two independent surveys (1990 and 2001/2002), which covered a total sample of 166,979 persons regarding medicine taking in Cyprus were also used.


The overall sales of systemic anti-infective agents in Cyprus were 22.1, 20.6, 24.5 and 24.2 DDD/1000 inhabitants/day for 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993 respectively. The sales number increased to 30.2 by 1996. Penicillins, cephalosporins and tetracyclines had the greatest share. The above numbers were higher than the respective ones in the reference countries. The first independent survey conducted in 1990 showed that 4.2% of the population reported to take antibiotics without prescription. The second survey provided evidence about the kind of antibiotics taken by the sample (mainly amoxicillin and ciprofloxacin).


These data reveal that the sales of antibiotics in Cyprus are higher than in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Greece. The broad-spectrum antibiotics in Cyprus have higher sales than the other antibiotics. This study describes for the first time the pattern of systemic anti-infective agent sales in Cyprus. Further investigations are needed in order to determine the possible factors that might be implicated or explain the high antibiotic sales in Cyprus.


Antibiotics Anti-infectives ATC-DDD methodology Cyprus Drug consumption Drug sales Pharmacoepidemiology 



The authors would like to thank the Institute of Scientific Research and Applications for providing relevant data from the Survey on the Thyroid Diseases in Cyprus, conducted by the Institute in 2001/2002, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the United Nations Operations Programme Services (UNOPS). The help of Mr Chris Constantinou is greatly acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christos Hadjimichael
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kyriacos Georgiou
    • 2
  • George Samoutis
    • 3
  • Evros Demetriades
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Medical RepresentativesKES CollegeNicosiaCyprus
  2. 2.Department of Registration & Control of Drugs, Pharmaceutical Services of CyprusMinistry of HealthNicosiaCyprus
  3. 3.Asclepios Medical CenterNicosiaCyprus
  4. 4.Institute of Scientific Research & ApplicationsNicosiaCyprus

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