Variability in the community consumption of antibiotics: a problem in Europe, Spain and Asturias

Infez Med . 2019 Jun 1;27(2):134-140.

Fecha de la publicación: 01/06/2019

Autor: Maria Luisa Sanchez (1), Manuel Javier Vallina-Victorero (2), Maria Rosario Bachiller (3), Ricardo Arbizu (1), Eugenia Llaneza (4), Shura Rozada (1), Jose Maria Eiros (5)


  • PMID: 31205035


1Health Services Management Department, Health Service of the Principality of Asturias, Oviedo, Spain.

2Angiology and Vascular Surgery Department. Hospital of Cabuenes, Gijon, Spain.

3Faculty of Medicine, University of Valladolid, Spain.

4Microbiology Department, University Central Hospital of Asturias, Asturias, Spain.

5Microbiology Department, University Hospital «Rio Hortega», Valladolid, Spain.


Increasing bacterial resistance is strictly correlated to the increasing use of antibiotics, currently constituting a public health problem. The aim of this study was to describe the consumption of antibiotics in Asturias, an autonomous community in northwestern Spain, and compare the results obtained with data from elsewhere in Spain and other European countries. A descriptive study was carried out on the use of antibacterial drugs for systemic use, ATC code J01 in Asturias in 2011-2015. Data were obtained from the prescription-billing information system charged to the Health Service of Asturias. The consumption data are expressed in daily doses per 1,000 inhabitants and day (DHD), and number of packages per thousand inhabitants per day. The average weighted consumption of antibiotics for systemic use in the Asturian community was 26.23 daily doses per 1000 inhabitants per day (DHD) in 2015. This figure was higher than that of the EU/EEA population, which was 22.4 DHD, and that of the whole of Spain at 22.2 DHD. There is a wide variability in consumption among the different areas of the Asturian region. This variability is common to the rest of the country and Europe. It can be explained by the influence of the data used in the indicators and by the variability in medical practice. Priority should be given to homologating consumer-monitoring information systems and implementing national strategies aimed at providing more information to medical practitioners, encouraging the appropriate use of antibiotics so as to reduce variability, consumption and resistance.