Effect of Utilization Policies for Fluoroquinolones: A Pilot Study in Nova Scotia Hospitals

Andrea J Kent, Ingrid S Sketris, B Lynn Johnston, Ryan B Sommers



Background: Antimicrobial resistance results in increased morbidity, mortality, and costs to the health care system. Evidence suggests an association between the use of antimicrobials in hospitals and the development of antimicrobial resistance. Fluoroquinolones constitute one group of antimicrobials that are effective against a variety of bacterial infections, yet they may be subject to misuse. Many hospitals in Nova Scotia have implemented policies to improve antimicrobial prescribing, but the impact of these policies on utilization is unknown.

Objectives: To evaluate the use of fluoroquinolones in Nova Scotia hospitals using the World Health Organization’s Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical classification system with defined daily doses (ATC/DDD) and to examine the influence of hospital policies for utilization of fluoroquinolones in community-acquired pneumonia.

Methods: During the study period (April 1, 1997, to March 31, 2003), fluoroquinolones were administered at 31 of the 37 hospitals in Nova Scotia’s 9 district health authorities. Hospital administrative data, hospital characteristics, and pharmaceutical purchasing data related to use of these drugs were aggregated using the ATC/DDD methodology for the fiscal years 1997/1998 to 2002/2003. District pharmacy directors were surveyed to obtain information about district and individual hospital antibiotic policies. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and univariable regression and multilevel analyses were performed.

Results: Mean overall fluoroquinolone use increased over the study period, from 47.2 DDD/1000 bed-days per year in fiscal year 1997/1998 to 163.8 DDD/1000 bed-days per year in fiscal year 2002/2003 (p < 0.001). Multilevel analysis showed that utilization policies aimed at appropriate prescribing did not affect the use of fluoroquinolones.

Conclusion: This study revealed that drug purchasing, hospital administrative, and diagnostic data could be combined to compare the utilization of fluoroquinolones among different hospitals and district health authorities. Utilization policies had little effect on the amount, type, or route of fluoroquinolone use.


drug utilization; antimicrobials; fluoroquinolones; policies

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4212/cjhp.v62i1.112

ISSN 1920-2903 (Online)
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