Antibiotic spending per patient varies 2.4-fold across England

Some areas of England spend an average of 2.4 times more per patient on antibiotics compared with other regions, analysis of official prescribing data has revealed.

The amount spent on antibiotics varied 2.4-fold per weighted patient across the country in the first quarter of 2017, according to a GPonline analysis of spending across CCG areas.

The results show that, in West London CCG, around 47p was spent on average per weighted patient on antibacterial drugs from January to March – the lowest amount spent in the country.

At the other end of the scale, an average £1.11 was spent per weighted patient at the highest spending region, Rotherham CCG.

Across the whole of England, approximately 80p was spent per weighted patient on antibacterial drugs, with an average 0.16 items prescribed to each patient.

Antibiotics spending

Camden CCG has the lowest average items prescribed per weighted patient, at 0.09. This compared with South Lincolnshire CCG where 0.20 – over twice as many – were prescribed per patient.

The difference remains unchanged from previous analyses by GPonline, which revealed last year there was a 2.4-fold spending difference across England.

The data, from NHS Digital, shows the net ingredient cost of antibiotics across England was over £45m during the quarter, a slight decline from £47m over the same period last year.

The results suggest a regional trend in prescribing. The 12 CCG areas spending the least on antibiotics per weighted patient were all in London – West London, Westminster, Camden, Lambeth, Haringey, Hounslow, Brent, Hackney, Islington, Southwark, Ealing and Hammersmith CCGs.

This compares with the seven areas spending the most, which are all situated in the north of England – Rotherham, Halton, Oldham, West Cheshire, Dudley, St Helens and Rochdale CCGs.

Map: Compare antibiotic spending

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