Effects of requiring prior authorization for selected antimicrobials: expenditures, susceptibilities, and clinical outcomes

Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Aug;25(2):230-9. doi: 10.1086/514545.


Antimicrobial control programs are widely used to decrease drug expenditures, but effects on antimicrobial resistance and outcomes for patients are unknown. When a requirement for prior authorization for selected parenteral antimicrobial agents was initiated at our urban, county teaching hospital, total parenteral antimicrobial expenditures decreased by 32%. Susceptibilities to all beta-lactam and quinolone antibiotics increased, with dramatic increased susceptibilities in isolates recovered in intensive care units, increased susceptibilities in isolates recovered in other inpatient sites, and little change in susceptibilities in isolates recovered in outpatient sites despite no change in infection control practices. For patients with bacteremia due to gram-negative organisms, overall survival did not change with restrictions. No differences occurred in the median time from initial positive blood culture to receipt of an appropriate antibiotic or in the median time from positive blood culture to discharge from the hospital. Thus, requiring preapproval for selected parenteral agents can decrease antimicrobial expenditures and improve susceptibilities to antibiotics without compromising patient outcomes or length of hospital stay.

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter / drug effects
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bacteremia / diagnosis
  • Bacteremia / drug therapy
  • Bacteremia / economics
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections / epidemiology
  • Community-Acquired Infections / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / drug therapy
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Enterobacter cloacae / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Female
  • Gram-Negative Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / economics
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Hospitals, Urban / economics
  • Hospitals, Urban / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Male
  • Medication Systems, Hospital / economics*
  • Medication Systems, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents