Health Policy Trends: Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescribing in Alberta
19 July 2023
JULY 2023 INAPPROPRIATE ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIBING IN ALBERTA As the effectiveness of antibiotics wanes and fewer new drugs are being deJAveNloUpeAdR, Yp a2tt0e2rn1s in the way primary care teams prescribe these medications have important policy implications In Canada, the vast majority of antibiotics are prescribed outside of hospitals by family doctors and other members of primary care teams. [...] Community-based adult antibiotic prescriptions as written and filled in Alberta, know about the antibiotic prescribing habits of Alberta’s primary care teams? APR2017-MAR2020 National and provincial responses to the threat of anti-microbial resistance have Over 56% of Albertans who were prescribed oral antibiotics received their focused on monitoring the rise of resistant germs and improving the s. [...] Nearly 40% of community-written antibiotic prescriptions were Determining appropriateness involves matching the disease a prescriber is treating inappropriate, suggesting policy attention to stewardship when they write a prescription with the potential effectiveness of an antibiotic. [...] Researchers have developed a standard approach to Given the importance of antibiotics in maintaining current healthcare matching the 13,000 possible diagnostic codes for injuries and diseases with an ‘always’ capacity, and the scarcity of new antibiotic drugs, policy makers will likely ‘potentially’ or ‘never’ appropriate designation for antibiotics. [...] Restrictions on community-based prescribing, audit The figure shows how community-based prescribers in Alberta fared as their diagnoses programs to increase prescriber accountability, and other all- were matched to dispensed antibiotic prescriptions in the three years leading up to the encompassing tweaks to stewardship efforts are policy options to pandemic.