The effect of generic market entry on antibiotic prescriptions in the United States

Cecilia Kållberg, Jemma Hudson, Hege Salvesen Blix, Christine Årdal, Eili Klein, Morten Lindbæk, Kevin Outterson, John Arne Røttingen, Ramanan Laxminarayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


When patented, brand-name antibiotics lose market exclusivity, generics typically enter the market at lower prices, which may increase consumption of the drug. To examine the effect of generic market entry on antibiotic consumption in the United States, we conducted an interrupted time series analysis of the change in the number of prescriptions per month for antibiotics for which at least one generic entered the US market between 2000 and 2012. Data were acquired from the IQVIA Xponent database. Thirteen antibiotics were analyzed. Here, we show that one year after generic entry, the number of prescriptions increased for five antibiotics (5 to 406%)—aztreonam, cefpodoxime, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin—and decreased for one drug: cefdinir. These changes were sustained two years after. Cefprozil, cefuroxime axetil and clarithromycin had significant increases in trend, but no significant level changes. No consistent pattern for antibiotic use following generic entry in the United States was observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2937
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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