Antibiotic prescription in primary health care: Clinical and economic perspectives (Catalonia, Spain)

Josefina Caminal, Joan Rovira

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To quantify clinical inappropriateness of antibiotic prescription and its costs in primary health care. Methods: 2470 cases of infectious disease during 1998 were analysed. Results: Of all cases, 69.9% did not require antibiotic treatment. Global clinical inappropriateness amounted to 43.7%, rising to 56.7% with the introduction of economic criteria. Treatment unnecessary but antibiotic provided (27.9%) represented the most important category. Costs of inappropriateness reached 68.4% of the estimated total cost. Conclusion: Appropriate antibiotic use should be focused on reducing antibiotic prescription when not indicated and restrainting the use of penicillins maintaining restrictive and adequate health policies, and also achieving co-responsibility from the general population. © The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-281
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005


  • Antibiotic prescription
  • Clinical inappropriateness
  • Costs of inappropriateness
  • Primary health care


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