Antibiotic stewardship from a decision-making, behavioral economics, and incentive design perspective.
Appl Ergon. 2020 Aug 26;90:103242
Authors: Bettinger B, Benneyan JC, Mahootchi T
Antibiotic-resistant infections cause over 20 thousand deaths and $20 billion annually in the United States. Antibiotic prescribing decision making can be described as a "tragedy of the commons" behavioral economics problem, for which individual best interests affecting human decision-making lead to suboptimal societal antibiotic overuse. In 2015, the U.S. federal government announced a $1.2 billion National Action Plan to combat resistance and reduce antibiotic use by 20% in inpatient settings and 50% in outpatient settings by 2020. We develop and apply a behavioral economics model based on game theory and "tragedy of the commons" concepts to help illustrate why rational individuals may not practice ideal stewardship and how to potentially structure three specific alternate approaches to accomplish these objectives (collective cooperative management, usage taxes, resistance penalties), based on Ostrom's economic governance principles. Importantly, while each approach can effectively incentivize ideal stewardship, the latter two do so with 10-30% lower utility to all providers. Encouraging local or state-level self-managed cooperative stewardship programs thus is preferred to national taxes and penalties, in contrast with current trends and with similar implications in other countries.
PMID: 32861088 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]