Study Shows Clinicians Hesitant to Prescribe Newer, More Effective Antibiotics to Treat Gram-Negative Infections

April 22, 2024
Researchers theorize that the higher cost of the newer antibiotics could be a hurdle.

A study undertaken by researchers at the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center suggests that “clinicians frequently continue to treat antibiotic-resistant infections with older generic antibiotics considered to be less effective and less safe” than newly approved alternatives. NIH’s website published a press release regarding the study on April 19.

Seven next-generation antibiotics have been approved by the FDA for use in fighting “infections caused by resistant ‘gram-negative’ bacteria,” but many clinicians seem to have a preference for the older traditional generic antibiotics when it comes time to prescribe.

Researchers uncovered that “smaller facilities located in rural areas” were particularly reluctant to adopt newer antibiotics, in part because of a “large cost disparity between older and newer classes of antibiotics; the newer drugs can cost approximately six times more than the older medications.” They also highlight that “next-gen agents are prescribed more often at hospitals where lab results that show the medications are effective against a patient’s bacterial infection are reported to prescribers.”

Gram-negative bacteria are particularly difficult to treat because they are “resistant to multiple drugs and increasingly resistant to most antibiotics.”

About the Author

Matt MacKenzie | Associate Editor

Matt is Associate Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News.