Reducing the costs of paediatric antibiotic prescribing in the community by implementing guideline recommendations

D. Piovani, A. Clavenna, M. Sequi, M. Cartabia, A. Bortolotti, I. Fortino, L. Merlino, M. Bonati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Summary What is known and objective Italian children receive a high number of antibiotic prescriptions, and the use of second-choice antibiotics is common. A few studies in other countries have demonstrated that the implementation of international guidelines for the most common paediatric diseases may reduce the associated costs. A cost analysis of the expenditure for antibiotic prescriptions in outpatient children in the Lombardy region (Italy) and for each of the region's local health units (LHUs) was performed using a pharmacoepidemiological approach. The safety and cost impact associated with a quali-quantitative improvement in antibiotic prescribing was estimated. Methods The data source was the Lombardy region's prescription database (year 2008) for outpatient children 2 = 16·4, P <0·001). What is new and conclusion This is the first Italian study to evaluate the costs related to a specific prescription profile, which already exists in the real setting, hypothesizing its application in a large outpatient child population of the same geographical area. The results show that by improving prescribing appropriateness, it is possible to reduce the expenditure associated with antibiotic prescriptions to outpatient children in the Lombardy region by about one-fifth. The lower rate of hospital admissions for ARI suggests that the adopted profile is also beneficial to children's health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-378
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • antibiotic
  • children
  • cost savings
  • drug utilization
  • economics
  • pharmaceutical
  • prescriptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology

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