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Two-Year Antimicrobial / Antibiotic Drug Study in 180 U.S. Hospitals Reveals 11% Reduction in Antibiotic Use through Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

CMS Requiring Hospitals to Reduce Antibiotic Use, Leading Comprehensive Pharmacy Services to Launch First of its Kind Antimicrobial Stewardship Solution  

Memphis, TN – Comprehensive Pharmacy Services’ (CPS) conducted an expansive study of 180 U.S. hospitals through its Antimicrobial Stewardship Pilot Program resulting in an average reduction of 11.4 percent of antibiotic use. Starting in January 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will require hospitals to reduce antibiotic use, which prompted the release of this CPS study.

Approximately 20-50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed in U.S. acute care hospitals are either unnecessary or inappropriate,[i] according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The misuse of antibiotics has contributed to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, which has become one of the most serious and growing threats to public health.[ii] More than two million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant organisms each year, resulting in approximately 23,000 deaths annually.[iii]

The CPS Antimicrobial Study included 180 hospital facilities across the U.S. from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014, followed by more than a year of detailed data analytics leading to today’s announcement. The program looked at 45 facilities with antibiotic drug spend greater than $10 per patient per day as well as 135 facilities with drug spend less than $10 per patient per day. 

“Our goal was to achieve a 10 percent reduction in antibiotic use in these hospitals,” said Davey Legendre, Regional Vice President Clinical – Infectious Diseases, CPS. “By applying our Antimicrobial Stewardship guidelines for a one year period, we realized significant reductions in antibiotic consumption both clinically and financially, even with 3 to 4 percent drug inflation occurring. Every healthcare institution in the country will be looking at programs to reduce their use of antibiotics with the new regulations to be announced in January.”

CPS’ Antimicrobial Stewardship Bundle identifies the following minimum elements that constitute a successful antibiotic stewardship program: (1) Hospitals must establish an interdisciplinary approach that includes pharmacy, (2) Metrics must be reported for recording and evaluation, and (3) An education and training initiative must be included. The CPS Bundle is designed to address all of the antibiotic stewardship requirements and regulations from CMS, CDC and the Joint Commission. The education initiative offers a Pharmacist Antimicrobial Stewardship Certificate (PhAST) that includes more than twenty hours of comprehensive and intensive antibiotic stewarship education sessions.

“CPS customizes the Antimicrobial program’s structure and design for each hospital,” said Marvin Finnefrock, Divisional President of Clinical and Purchasing Services at CPS. “We help track and trend the metrics, and we conduct the educational component. It’s critically important to understand that these programs are not simply plug-and-play, and it’s not just about checking off a regulatory box. The hospitals we worked with wanted the support and expertise support to help them install these complex programs correctly. And the educational initiative is an essential component of making an antibiotics stewardship program effective.”

About Comprehensive Pharmacy Services

Founded 45 years ago and employing over 2,000 pharmacy professionals, Comprehensive Pharmacy Services is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pharmacy support services to more than 600 hospitals and healthcare facilities pharmacies. CPS helps hospital pharmacists tackle complex problems such as medication reconciliation, hyper-inflated drug costs, standardization, centralized distribution, retail pharmacies, compliance, 340B programs and much more, leading to increased quality, reduced admissions and lower costs. For more information, visit

[i] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Core Elements of Hospital Antibiotic Stewardship Programs. Accessed 8/15/2016.

[ii] Huttner A, Harbarth S, Carlet J, et al. Antimicrobial resistance: a global view from the 2013 World Healthcare-Associated Infections Forum. Antimicrobial resistance and infection control. Nov 18 2013;2(1):31.

[iii] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013 Atlanta, GA: CDC;2013.

Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tags: News, Comprehensive Pharmacy Services, Antimicrobial, Antibiotic, CPS, Davey Legendre, Marvin Finnefrock