Table of Contents
Chemotherapy Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 249867, 6 pages
Review Article

Factors Affecting the Cost Effectiveness of Antibiotics

Research Centre for Pharmaceutical Care and Pharmaco-Economics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Onderwijs en Navorsing 2, P.O. Box 521, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Received 29 October 2010; Accepted 5 January 2011

Academic Editor: Enzo Bonmassar

Copyright © 2011 Steven Simoens. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In an era of spiraling health care costs and limited resources, policy makers and health care payers are concerned about the cost effectiveness of antibiotics. The aim of this study is to draw on published economic evaluations with a view to identify and illustrate the factors affecting the cost effectiveness of antibiotic treatment of bacterial infections. The findings indicate that the cost effectiveness of antibiotics is influenced by factors relating to the characteristics and the use of antibiotics (i.e., diagnosis, comparative costs and comparative effectiveness, resistance, patient compliance with treatment, and treatment failure) and by external factors (i.e., funding source, clinical pharmacy interventions, and guideline implementation interventions). Physicians need to take into account these factors when prescribing an antibiotic and assess whether a specific antibiotic treatment adds sufficient value to justify its costs.