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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 7 (1996), Issue 2, Pages 104-109
Original Article

A Multidisciplinary Hospital-based Antimicrobial Use Program: Impact on Hospital Pharmacy Expenditures and Drug Use

Suzette Salama, Coleman Rotstein, and Lionel Mandell

Departments of Pharmacy and Medicine, the Henderson General Division, Hamilton Civic Hospitals, and the Division of Infectious Diseases, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Received 11 July 1995; Accepted 15 November 1995

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


The authors’ hospital embarked on a three-component, multidisciplinary, hospital-based antimicrobial use program to cut costs and reduce inappropriate antimicrobial use. Initially, antimicrobial use patterns and costs were monitored for 12 months. For the next two years, an antimicrobial use program was implemented consisting of three strategies: automatic therapeutic interchanges; antimicrobial restriction policies; and parenteral to oral conversion. The program resulted in a reduction in the antimicrobial portion of the total pharmacy drug budget from 41.6% to 28.2%. Simultaneously, the average cost per dose per patient day dropped from $11.88 in 1991 to $10.16 in 1994. Overall, mean monthly acquisition cost savings rose from $6,810 in 1992 to $27,590 in 1994. This study demonstrates that a multidisciplinary antimicrobial use program in a Canadian hospital can effect dramatic cost savings and serve as a quality assurance activity of physician antimicrobial prescribing behaviour.