Increased Moxifloxacin Utilization Associated with an Unrestricted Addition to a Drug Reimbursement Formulary: A Population-Based Analysis
OBJECTIVES:To determine whether utilization of moxifloxacin, a broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone antibiotic, has changed since its addition to the British Columbia provincial formulary in 2009 and to determine whether utilization was guideline concordant.METHODS: BC PharmaNet prescriptions for moxifloxacin from 2001 to 2010 were anonymously linked to associated Medical Services Plan fee-for-service practitioner claims for indication-specific analysis. Prescribing trends for adults ≥18 years of age were described using defined daily dose (DDD) per 1000 person-years. Monthly utilization rates were fit to a linear regression model that controlled for seasonal variation to examine the effect of the formulary addition.RESULTS: Utilization rose more than sevenfold throughout the study period, from 21.3 DDD per 1000 person-years in 2001 to 163.3 DDD per 1000 person-years in 2010. Although the formulary addition was not associated with an immediate increase in utilization (7.5% [95% CI −4.4% to 20.9%]; P=0.226), it was associated with an overall increase in utilization of 2.1% (95% CI 1.3% to 3.0%; P<0.001) for every month after 2009. Overall, only 29% of moxifloxacin prescriptions could be linked to a diagnostic code that was considered to be guideline concordant. In more than one-half of moxifloxacin prescriptions, the patient had not used another antibiotic in the previous 90 days. Among moxifloxacin prescriptions in which another antibiotic had been used in the previous 90 days, 41.5% were prescriptions for an alternative fluoroquinolone.CONCLUSIONS: The formulary addition was associated with a sustained increase in moxifloxacin utilization over time. Moxifloxacin is often prescribed to patients for indications that are not guideline concordant or to patients who have not previously received first-line antibiotics.