Hospital antibiotic prescribing patterns in adult patients according to the WHO Access, Watch and Reserve classification (AWaRe): results from a worldwide point prevalence survey in 69 countries

Global-PPS network, Ines Pauwels, Ann Versporten, Nico Drapier, Erika Vlieghe, Herman Goossens, Mamoon Aldeyab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives
The WHO Access, Watch and Reserve (AWaRe) classification has been developed to support countries and hospitals in promoting rational use of antibiotics while improving access to these essential medicines. We aimed to describe patterns of worldwide antibiotic use according to the AWaRe classification in the adult inpatient population.

Methods
The Global Point Prevalence Survey on Antimicrobial Consumption and Resistance (Global-PPS) collects hospital antibiotic use data using a standardized PPS methodology. Global-PPS 2015, 2017 and 2018 data, collected by 664 hospitals in 69 countries, were categorized into AWaRe groups to calculate proportional AWaRe use, Access-to-Watch ratios and the most common indications for treatment with selected Watch antibiotics. Only prescriptions for systemic antibiotics on adult inpatient wards were analysed.

Results
Regional Access use ranged from 28.4% in West and Central Asia to 57.7% in Oceania, whereas Watch use was lowest in Oceania (41.3%) and highest in West and Central Asia (66.1%). Reserve use ranged from 0.03% in sub-Saharan Africa to 4.7% in Latin America. There were large differences in AWaRe prescribing at country level. Watch antibiotics were prescribed for a range of very different indications worldwide, both for therapeutic and prophylactic use.

Conclusions
We observed considerable variations in AWaRe prescribing and high use of Watch antibiotics, particularly in lower- and upper-middle-income countries, followed by high-income countries. The WHO AWaRe classification has an instrumental role to play in local and national stewardship activities to assess prescribing patterns and to inform and evaluate stewardship activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1614-1624
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Volume76
Issue number6
Early online date5 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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