Impact of formulary restriction with prior authorization by an antimicrobial stewardship program

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In an era of increasing antimicrobial resistance and few antimicrobials in the developmental pipeline, many institutions have developed antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) to help implement evidence-based (EB) strategies for ensuring appropriate utilization of these agents. EB strategies for accomplishing this include formulary restriction with prior authorization. Potential limitations to this particular strategy include delays in therapy, prescriber pushback, and unintended increases in use of un-restricted antimicrobials; however, our ASP found that implementing prior authorization for select antimicrobials along with making a significant effort to educate clinicians on criteria for use ensured more appropriate prescribing of these agents, hopefully helping to preserve their utility for years to come.

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