Background and purpose: Only limited data is available on the patterns of antibiotic use in hospitals in Taiwan before and after the implementation of national health insurance. This study aimed to determine the patterns of use of antibiotics in public hospitals in Taiwan after the implementation of the National Health Insurance program and to compare these with patterns prior to the implementation. Methods: Data on the annual use of all antibiotics in public hospitals in Taiwan during the period from fiscal year (FY) 1994-1995 to 1997-1998 were collected and analyzed. Hospitals included seven medical centers, 19 regional hospitals, 53 district hospitals, and eight specialty service hospitals. Results: The annual cost of antibiotics made up 17.4% of the annual cost of all medication used in these hospitals in FY 1994-1995, and decreased year by year to 12.6% in FY 1997-1998. During the study period, 57.4% of the total cost of antibiotics were incurred by medical centers, 24.6% by regional hospitals, 16.2% by district hospitals, and 1.8% by specialty service hospitals. The most commonly used class of antibiotic was cephalosporins, accounting for 48.0% to 54.3% of total antibiotic costs. The second most commonly used class of antibiotic was penicillins, accounting for 15.9% to 17.4% of total antibiotic costs. In FY 1994-1995, the next most commonly used classes of antibiotics were aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, and other betalactams, respectively, but by FY 1997-1998 these had changed to fluoroquinolones, glycopeptides, and aminoglycosides, respectively. Among the various cephalosporins used, first-generation cephalosporins accounted for 76.1% of all cephalosporins used in FY 1994-1995, which increased year by year to 84.0% in FY 1997-1998. Second-generation cephalosporins accounted for 20.7% of all cephalosporins used in FY 1994-1995, decreasing to 13.2% in FY 1997-1998. Conclusion: The introduction of the National Health Insurance program in Taiwan brought about a major change in antibiotic use patterns in public hospitals.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of the Formosan Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 1 2001|
- Antibiotic use
- National Health Insurance
- Public hospital
ASJC Scopus subject areas