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Acute otitis media, antimicrobial prescriptions, and medical expenses among children in the United States during 2011–2016

Suaya, José A., Gessner, Bradford D., Fung, Shirley, Vuocolo, Scott, Scaife, John, Swerdlow, David L., Isturiz, Raúl E., Arguedas, Adriano G.
Vaccine 2018 v.36 no.49 pp. 7479-7486
antibiotics, children, otitis media, surveys, therapeutics, vaccines, United States
We analyzed outpatient visits, incidence, antimicrobial prescriptions, and medical expenditures for acute otitis media (AOM) in the United States during 2011–2016.Data sources included the National Disease and Therapeutic Index (NDTI™) projections by IQVIA (for AOM cases), The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (for medical expenditures) and the US Census (for population estimates). Analyses focused on children aged ≤9 years between 2011 and 2016. We used the 2014 medical expenditure estimate per otitis media episode ($520) as proxy for all years.In 2011, there were an estimated 11.5 million AOM episodes in children aged 0–9 years in the US with AOM incidence rates (IR) of 476, 204, and 284 episodes per 1000 children aged 0–2, 3–9, and 0–9 years, respectively. All subsequent years had lower IRs, and by 2016, IR was 25.1% lower than in 2011 in children 0–9 years. In addition, there were estimates of 10.8 million and 9.2 million fewer cumulative AOM episodes and antimicrobial prescriptions for AOM nationwide between 2012 and 2016, compared to annual 2011 estimates, representing a ∼$5.6 billion decrease in direct medical expenditures. The average number of antibiotic prescriptions per AOM visit remained stable with 0.89 and 0.86 prescriptions per visit in 2011 and 2016, respectively.AOM incidence, antimicrobial prescriptions, and associated medical expenses decreased substantially between 2011 and 2016 in the United States. Antimicrobial prescribing practices remain unchanged. Additional studies are warranted to assess causality.