Historical Archive

European record antibiotic prescription

Italy has achieved the primacy of European country where the most antibiotics are prescribed, "after France, the previous record holder, lowered the number of prescriptions by 20% in the last three years, through information campaigns for citizens and doctors". The picture of the situation was presented by Nicola Magrini of the Center for the evaluation of the effectiveness of healthcare assistance (Ceveas) of the local health authority of Modena, speaking at the conference for the presentation of the OsMED 2009 report on pharmaceutical prescriptions in Italy [see below ed.].. "Even for about a year - added the expert - Italy has equipped itself with policies suitable for countering a phenomenon, that of the excessive prescription of antibiotics, known for decades now and also characterized by a wide regional variability: in Calabria and Sicily, the least virtuous territories in this sense, we get to prescribe a double or even triple quantity of medicines compared to the province of Bolzano. This means that, in very different contexts, the prescription and above all the request for antibiotics is also different, due to cultural reasons". According to Magrini, among the other causes there is also «the commercial pressure of the pharmaceutical industries, which logically try to sell their products. In our Region, however, the prescription of antibiotics for children has stopped increasing: a positive element that indicates a gradual change and that can bode well for the future". «In Italy – added Pietro Folino Gallo, of the Osmed coordination office of the Italian Medicines Agency – the children's 50% received at least one antibiotic. A more rational use of these medicines could save 300 million euros, with a positive impact on all public health".

DoctorNews – 12 July 2010 – Year 8, Number 127




The national reports of OsMed, the Medicines Observatory of the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), provide every year a detailed picture of the use made of medicines in Italy in the general population, in terms of expenditure, volumes and types. The analyzes of the data contained offer important insights for correlating the prevalence of pathologies in the area with the corresponding use of drugs, and propose an interpretation of the main factors influencing the variability in prescription. Today it can be said that, at an international level, this report represents one of the most advanced experiences in terms of monitoring and evaluating the trends and policies of the use of medicines at a national and regional level.

In 2000, CeVEAS (Centre for the Evaluation of Healthcare Efficiency) participated, together with the Istituto Superiore di Sanità and the working group of the current AIFA, in the creation of the structure at the basis of the national report. CeVEAS is currently involved in the drafting of the OsMed Report, in particular as regards the assessment of clinical appropriateness, the definition of the subgroups of drugs analysed, the statistical and epidemiological analyzes of the use of drugs.


The use of drugs in Italy - OSMED Report January-September 2009

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