Impact of drug policy on the use of parenteral cephalosporins in Italy
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Objective: To evaluate the effects of the 1998 revision of CUF Note 55 on doctors" prescribing behaviour and drug costs with regard to intramuscularly administered cephalosporins.Method: National data on drug use between January 1998 and June 2000 were provided by the Drug Utilisation Monitoring Centre of the Ministry of Health. The Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical classification and the Defined Daily Dose methodology, as well as population estimates obtained from the Italian National Statistics Institute were used to define consumption as the number of defined daily doses per 1000 inhabitants per day. The cost of these antibiotic medications was determined using the wholesale price reported in Informatore Farmaceutico. Italian inflation rates were used to annuitize the expenditure. “STATA 6.0” software was used for all statistical analyses.Results: The use of cefonicid rose dramatically after the revision (+ 136.3%), whereas the utilisation of the other active ingredients decreased. A decrease of 5.6% in the expenditure for all parenteral cephalosporins was observed in this period while the same figure increased by 2.3% after one year.Conclusion: The exclusion of cefonicid from a restricted list appears to have significantly affected doctors' prescribing practices, while the effect on drug expenditure was contradictory.
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