Economic Analysis of Outpatients' Antibiotics Consumption in Switzerland
The aim of this project is to investigate the determinants of regional outpatients’ antibiotics consumption and the implications of bacterial resistance in Switzerland. The investigation will be conducted both at theoretical and empirical levels.
Public authorities all over the world are increasingly concerned about the economic implications of the extensive use of antibiotics given the perverse association between antimicrobial usage and resistance. The economics of antibiotic resistance has recently received attention in the health economics literature, but the focus is mainly on inpatient usage of antibiotics. Moreover, up to now there are no studies on the determinants of antibiotics consumption at the regional level. Finally, a theoretical approach to antibiotic consumption choices conditioned to resistance has not been considered yet.
The research study intends to bridge a four-fold research gap:
• it theoretically models the interaction between physicians and patients in ambulatory care under imperfect information on the nature of the patient’s infection, the risks of morbidity and mortality, and effects of antibiotic resistance;
• it empirically investigates the most important factors affecting regional consumption of antibiotics and tests some of the hypotheses suggested in the theoretical model;
• it investigates the incentives to use antibiotics under different regional regulatory settings in the context of the Swiss federal health care system;
• it tries to differentiate the effects of resistance from other factors affecting the consumption of antibiotics.
The results of the study will provide important information to improve the level of knowledge about antibiotic consumption and resistance among the scientific community and general practitioners. Moreover, the investigation of regional differences will help to fine tune local policies for an efficient