The cost effectiveness of azithromycin for Chlamydia trachomatis infections in women

Sex Transm Dis. Sep-Oct 1995;22(5):274-80. doi: 10.1097/00007435-199509000-00002.


Background and objectives: Azithromycin, an approved single-dose therapy for cervical chlamydia infections, costs four times as much as doxycycline, the standard multidose theapy.

Goal of this study: This study examined whether azithromycin is cost effective for treating cervical chlamydia infections.

Study design: Two diagnostic strategies were compared: 1) laboratory confirmation of chlamydia, and 2) presumptive diagnosis from the perspective of the healthcare system and the publicly funded clinic.

Results: From the healthcare perspective, the cost per case of pelvic inflammatory disease prevented with azithromycin ranges from a savings of $3,502 for laboratory confirmation to a cost of $792 for presumptive diagnosis. From the publicly funded clinic perspective, the cost per case of pelvic inflammatory disease prevented ranges from $709 for lab-confirmed diagnosis to $3,969 for presumptive treatment.

Conclusion: For the healthcare system, azithromycin is a cost-effective alternative to doxycycline. However, the cost of azithromycin must decrease markedly for it to be less costly to the publicly funded clinic.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / economics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Azithromycin / economics*
  • Azithromycin / therapeutic use
  • Chlamydia Infections / complications
  • Chlamydia Infections / drug therapy*
  • Chlamydia Infections / economics
  • Chlamydia trachomatis*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / economics
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / etiology
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease / prevention & control


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Azithromycin