Journal of antimicrobial chemotherapy vol:41 issue:2 pages:267-272
Between 1991 and 1995 the Belgian National Program for Surveillance of Hospital infections (NSIH) collected data on perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis in 72 acute care hospitals. From the costs of prophylactic antibiotics for six categories of surgical procedure and from discharge summaries for hospitalization episodes nationwide, annual drug costs were estimated for 73% of Belgian surgical activity. Costs of antibiotics used in these surgical activities were estimated at 386-410 million Belgian francs (Bf) per year (US$12.1-12.9 million). After agreeing recommendations for best practice, the hypothetical costs of 'optimal' antimicrobial prophylaxis were calculated for the same selection of surgical procedures. It was calculated that savings of at least 194 million Bf (US$6.1 million) could be made ii recommendations were followed closely. Only the costs borne by the National Health Insurance Institute for reimbursement of the dispensed drugs were considered in this study. Other direct costs, such as those related to drug storage, dispensing and administration, were not included.