Variation in outpatient oral antimicrobial use patterns among Canadian provinces, 2000 to 2010.

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Variation in outpatient oral antimicrobial use patterns among Canadian provinces, 2000 to 2010.

Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol. 2014 Mar;25(2):95-8

Authors: Glass-Kaastra SK, Finley R, Hutchinson J, Patrick DM, Weiss K, Conly J

BACKGROUND: The volume and patterns of antimicrobial drug use are key variables to consider when developing guidelines for prescribing, and programs to address stewardship and combat the increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistant pathogens. Because drug programs are regulated at the provincial level, there is an expectation that antibiotic use may vary among provinces.
OBJECTIVE: To assess these potential differences according to province and time.
METHODS: Provincial antimicrobial prescribing data at the individual drug level were acquired from the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance for 2000 to 2010. Data were used to calculate two yearly metrics: prescriptions per 1000 inhabitant-days and the average defined daily doses per prescription. The proportion of liquid oral prescriptions of total prescriptions was also calculated as a proxy measure for the proportion of prescriptions given to children versus adults. To assess the significance of provincial antimicrobial use, linear mixed models were developed for each metric, accounting for repeated measurements over time.
RESULTS: Significant differences among provinces were found, as well as significant changes in use over time. Newfoundland and Labrador was found to have significantly higher prescribing rates than all other provinces (P<0.001) in 2010, as well as the mean of all other provinces (P<0.001). In contrast, Quebec exhibited significantly lower prescribing than all other provinces (P<0.001 for all provinces except British Columbia, where P=0.024) and the mean of all other provinces (P<0.001).
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Reports of reductions in antimicrobial use at the Canadian level are promising, especially prescribing to children; however, care must be taken to avoid the pitfall of the ecological fallacy. Reductions are not consistent among the provinces or among the classes of antimicrobial drugs dispensed in Canada.

PMID: 24855477 [PubMed]