Antimicrobial resistance is a major public health issue. This study examines the cost effectiveness of the SIMPle (Supporting the Improvement and Management of Prescribing for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)) intervention to improve antimicrobial prescribing in primary care in Ireland.Methods
An economic evaluation was conducted alongside a cluster randomized controlled trial of 30 general practices and 2560 patients with a diagnosis of UTI. Practices were randomized to the usual practice control or the SIMPle intervention (arm A or B). Data at 6 months follow-up were used to estimate incremental costs, incremental effectiveness in terms of first-line antimicrobial prescribing for UTI and cost effectiveness acceptability curves.Results
The SIMPle intervention was, on average, more costly and more effective than the control. The probability of intervention arm A being cost effective was 0.280, 0.995 and 1.000 at threshold values of €50, €150 and €250 per percentage point increase in first-line antimicrobial prescribing respectively. The equivalent probabilities for intervention arm B were 0.121, 0.863 and 0.985, respectively.Conclusions
The cost effectiveness of the SIMPle intervention depends on the value placed on improving antimicrobial prescribing. Future studies should examine the wider and longer term costs and outcomes of improving antimicrobial prescribing.