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A Macroeconomic Approach to Evaluating Policies to Contain Antimicrobial Resistance: A Case Study of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

  • Richard D. Smith

    (School of Medicine, Health Policy & Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)

  • Milton Yago

    (School of Medicine, Health Policy & Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)

  • Michael Millar

    (Department of Medical Microbiology, Barts & The London NHS Trust, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, UK)

  • Joanna Coast

    (Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK)

Background: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is, at least in part, associated with high antimicrobial usage and causes increased morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. However, policies to contain AMR focus on `micro' interventions - typically in one institution (usually a hospital). Furthermore, in evaluating these interventions, economists tend to concentrate on the economic impact to the healthcare sector alone, which may give an incorrect estimation of the social costs and benefits of a disease or intervention. Methods: This study outlines and illustrates a macroeconomic approach to tackling AMR through the evaluation of three `macro' policies: regulation, permits and taxes/charges. In addition to effects on the healthcare sector, the effect of AMR (and these three policies to contain it) on labour productivity, GDP, household income, government transfers, tax revenues, unemployment, inflation and social services are estimated for the UK using the specific context of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Results: AMR is likely to have a far greater impact on the national economy than would be estimated by concentrating on the healthcare sector alone. Conclusion: The permit system appears to offer the most efficient `solution' to optimising antimicrobial consumption and, hence, reducing the development of resistance.

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Article provided by Springer Healthcare | Adis in its journal Applied Health Economics and Health Policy.

Volume (Year): 5 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 55-65

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Handle: RePEc:wkh:aheahp:v:5:y:2006:i:1:p:55-65
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://healtheconomics.adisonline.com/

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  1. Warwick J. McKibbin & Peter J. Wilcoxen, 1997. "The Problem With Internationally Tradable Emission Permits for Greenhouse Gas Abatement," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 9701, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
  2. Viguier, Laurent L. & Babiker, Mustafa H. & Reilly, John M., 2003. "The costs of the Kyoto Protocol in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 459-481, April.
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  4. Halkos, George E., 1993. "Sulphur abatement policy: Implications of cost differentials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1035-1043, October.
  5. David H. Howard, 2004. "Resistance-induced antibiotic substitution," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(6), pages 585-595.
  6. Michael Baye & Robert Maness & Steven Wiggins, 1997. "Demand systems and the true subindex of the cost of living for pharmaceuticals," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(9), pages 1179-1190.
  7. Smith, Richard D. & Coast, Joanna, 1998. "Controlling antimicrobial resistance: a proposed transferable permit market," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 219-232, March.
  8. Edwards, T. Huw. & Hutton, John P., 2001. "Allocation of carbon permits within a country: a general equilibrium analysis of the United Kingdom," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 371-386, July.
  9. Halkos, George, 1993. "Economic incentives for optimal sulphur abatement in Europe," MPRA Paper 33705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Noriyuki Goto & Takamitsu Sawa, 1993. "An Analysis of the Macro-Economic Costs of Various CO2 Emission Control Policies in Japan," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 83-110.
  11. John B. Horowitz & H. Brian Moehring, 2004. "How property rights and patents affect antibiotic resistance," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(6), pages 575-583.
  12. Smith, Richard D. & Yago, Milton & Millar, Michael & Coast, Jo, 2005. "Assessing the macroeconomic impact of a healthcare problem: The application of computable general equilibrium analysis to antimicrobial resistance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1055-1075, November.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521266550 is not listed on IDEAS
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