Effect of Carbapenem Selection on Drug Acquisition Costs and Carbapenem Resistance

Steven M. Smoke, Waheed Abdul, Adriana Grigoriu, Dhruv Vasant
  • Journal of Pharmacy Practice, March 2018, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0897190018766155

Impact of carbapenem selection on resistance and drug cost

What is it about?

The choice of carbapenem used has been linked to different rates of carbapenem resistance. We chose to use a cheaper carbapenem, ertapenem, preferentially as a cost savings initiative. We found no evidence of changing resistance based on carbapenem use over a two year period and saved $20,000 in drug costs.

Why is it important?

Antibiotic stewardship programs and pharmacy departments are often pressured to find cost savings opportunities. The choice of carbapenem can lead to cost savings but there are concerns of the impact of antibiotic resistance. This study shows that in this case, we found substantial savings with no impact on resistance.


Steven Smoke (Author)
Jersey City Medical Center

Many questions remain regarding strategies to minimize antibiotic resistance. From the perspective of an antibiotic steward, it is challenging to balance strategies that offer theoretical benefits like effects on antibiotic resistance with strategies that offer cost savings opportunities. More research is needed to answer this question and other questions like it.

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