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Stationary Care

Facts and statistics about the use of antibiotics in the inpatient sector in Switzerland.

Antibiotic use in Swiss hospitals over the last 10 years

The total consumption of antibiotics (ATC group J01) for systemic use in the swiss inpatient sector was 52.4 DDDs per 100 bed-days (using data from the sentinel network of acute care hospitals) in 2020 or 1.6 DDDs per 1000 inhabitants per day (using the IQVIATM dataset) in 2019. In comparison, total consumption in Europe (ESAC-Net) was 1.8 DDDs per 1000 inhabitants per day (range: 0.8– 2.5) in 2019 [1]. The antibiotic consumption in the inpatient sector in Switzerland has been relatively stable in recent years. Small regional differences in the consumption of antibiotics in inpatient medicine have been observed throughout Switzerland. A lower consumption in the Italian-speaking part could be explained by the fact that this part does not have a university hospital center.


[1] European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Antimicrobial consumption in the EU/EEA, annual epidemiological report for 2018. Stockholm: ECDC; 2019. Available on: Antimicrobial-consumption-EU-EEA.pdf


Larger hospitals have a higher antibiotic consumption due to more complex cases.

A classification of acute care hospitals into small hospitals (up to 200 beds), medium-sized hospitals (200-500 beds) and large hospitals (over 500 beds) illustrates that due to more complex cases, larger hospitals tend to have a higher antibiotic consumption than smaller hospitals. However, the antibiotic consumption of hospitals within a hospital category can be highly variable.


The graph shows the distribution of the antibiotic consumption per hospital in DDDs/100-bed-days or in DDDs/100 admissions.  By using the drop-down menu, the distribution of the antibiotic consumption can be displayed per hospital size or per language region.


Penicillins in combination with a beta-lactamase inhibitor are the most commonly used antibiotics in Swiss hospitals.

With almost one third of all antibiotics used in Swiss hospitals, penicillins in combination with a beta-lactamase inhibitor (ATC=J01CR), especially amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, are the most commonly used antibiotics. Also, cephalosporins (ATC= J01DB-DE), especially the 2nd generation cephalosporin cefuroxime or the 3rd generation cephalosporin ceftriaxone, were widely used. While most antibiotic classes show a stable or slightly increasing consumption trend, the consumption of fluoroquinolones has decreased significantly in recent years.

The WHO has developed a classification system for antibiotics which divides existing antibiotics into three categories: Access, Watch and Reserve (“AWaRe”) [1]. Antibiotics from the “Access” category should be preferred in general due to their effectiveness and their moderate contribution to the development of resistances compared with other antibiotics. The “Watch” category includes antibiotics which are only indicated for a limited number of infections, while “Reserve” antibiotics are only used as a last resort. The consumption of “access” and “watch” antibiotics in Swiss hospitals has remained largely unchanged in recent years, while the consumption of antibiotics of the “reserve” group has increased over the last 10 years.

The graph shows the effective consumption of the individual antibiotic categories or AWARE groups in DDD/100 bed days or in DDD/100 admissions over the last 10 years and their distribution in the selected year.




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