Antibiotic resistance ups treatment costs by +$1k per infection, study finds

Antibiotic resistance increases the cost of treating a patient with a bacterial infection by more than $1,000, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

For the study, researchers from Saint Louis University and Atlanta-based Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health analyzed 2002-14 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to estimate the cost of treating antibiotic-resistant infections.

They found antibiotic resistance added $1,383 to the cost of treating an infection. This figure translates into $2.2 billion in national healthcare costs annually, representing a twofold increase from infection treatment costs in 2002, according to the report. 

"The need for innovative new infection prevention programs, antibiotics, and vaccines to prevent and treat antibiotic-resistant infections is an international priority," the researchers concluded. They believe this study provides the first national cost estimate for antibiotic-resistant treatment.

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