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Benefits of Unit-Dose Antibiotic Sale

03 Oct 2017 | By INSERM (Newsroom) | Public health

Between November 2014 and November 2015, a study conducted by Inserm (Unit 912 SESSTIM – Economic and Social Sciences, Health Systems and Medical Informatics), Université Aix-Marseille, IRD, CNRS and the PACA Regional Health Observatory, trialed the unit-dose dispensing of certain antibiotics across four regions in France. Out of 100 volunteer pharmacies, 75 pharmacies were randomly selected to offer unit-dose dispensing of treatment to patients with a prescription stating one or more of the 14 antibiotics concerned. The results of this trial, published in PLos ONE on September 19, 2017, are as follows:

  • Acceptability of unit-dose dispensing of antibiotics (UDD): 80% of patients with a prescription for an antibiotic treatment concerned by the trial agreed to unit-dose dispensing.
  • Impact on the volumes of medicinal products dispensed: deconditioning was necessary for 60% of patients exposed to unit-dose dispensing. The unit-dose dispensing method reduces the volume of tablets dispensed by approximately 10%, compared to traditional sale.
  • Proper use of treatments: The unit-dose dispensing method prevents the problem of improperly recycled tablets (this is the case for 13% of prescribed antibiotics observed in the study). Lastly, unit-dose dispensing of antibiotics is associated with improved patient adherence to the prescription, according to the measurement of ‘compliance’ based on the number of unused tablets remaining at the end of treatment.

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Bruno Ventelou
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The expected and unexpected benefits of dispensing the exact number of pills
Carole Treibich1, Sabine Lescher2, Luis Sagaon-Teyssier2,3, Bruno Ventelou1,3

  1. Département AMSE, Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, EHESS and Centrale, Marseille, France,
  2. SESSTIM, Sciences Economiques & Sociales de la Santé et Traitement de l’Information Médicale, Aix Marseille Université, Inserm, IRD, Marseille, France,
  3. ORS PACA, Observatoire Régional de la Santé Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, Marseille, France