Antibiotic Spending Shows Massive Regional Variations

Analysis of spending across numerous clinical commissioning group areas reveals that the amount of money spent on antibiotics demonstrates significant regional variation.

Indeed, the monies proffered on antibiotics varied 2.4-fold per weighted patient across the country in the first quarter of 2017, based on official data.

Results acquired from NHS England information indicate that in the West London Clinical Commissioning Group approximately 47p was spent on average per weighted patient on antibacterial drugs from January to March; by far the lowest amount in the country.

But at the polar opposite end of the scale, over £1.10 was spent per weighted patient at the highest spending region, which was the Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group.

The average for England as a whole was roughly 80p per weighted patient on antibacterial drugs, with the average patient receiving 0.16 items prescribed.

But figures indicate that this data varies wildly depending on the particular region of the country.

Camden CCG has the lowest average items prescribed per weighted patient, at 0.09.

This compared with South Lincolnshire CCG where 0.20 – over twice as many – were prescribed per patient.

Interestingly, the degree of disparity between the various clinical commissioning groups remained identical from the same information collated last year.

This indicates that NHS England is still treating antibiotics unevenly across the healthcare system.

Data utilised in the analysis was acquired from NHS Digital, with the authoritative organisation indicating that the net cost of antibiotics across England was over £45 million during the quarter.

This represents a small decline from the same period last year, with the figure for January to March 2016 being £47 million.

Results indicate that there is a distinct regional trend in prescribing, with northern destinations certainly seeming to receive larger amounts of antibiotics.

This is confirmed by the 12 clinical commissioning group areas spending the least on antibiotics per weighted patient, all of which were located within London.

The 12 regions in question were West London, Westminster, Camden, Lambeth, Haringey, Hounslow, Brent, Hackney, Islington, Southwark, Ealing and Hammersmith CCGs.

This compares with the seven areas spending the most, all of which were situated in the north of England – Rotherham, Halton, Oldham, West Cheshire, Dudley, St Helens and Rochdale CCGs.

The CDC estimates that more than 70% of the bacteria responsible the 2 million infections acquired in US hospitals each year are resistant to at least one commonly used antibiotic, and 20% to 50% of antibiotics prescribed in US acute-care hospitals are unnecessary or inappropriate.


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