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Rufayda Dawood Manassrah
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Background: One of the largest problems facing the world today is the enormous morbidity and mortality caused by antibiotic resistance in bacterial infections. A major factor in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the irrational use of antibiotics. The objective of this study was to assess the prescribing and cost of antibiotics in two major governmental hospitals in the West Bank of Palestine. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted on 428 inpatient prescriptions containing antibiotics from two major governmental hospitals in the West Bank of Palestine, from December 2020 to March 2021, they were evaluated by some drug use indicators. Descriptive statistics were performed using IBM-SPSS version 21. Results: The mean ± SD number of drugs per prescription (NDPP) was 6.72 ± 4.37. Of these medicines, 38.9% were antibiotics. The mean ± SD number of antibiotics per prescription (NAPP) was 2.61 ± 1.54. The average ± SD cost per prescription (CPP) was 392 ± 744 USD. The average ± SD antibiotic cost per prescription (ACPP) was 276 ± 553 USD. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics were ceftriaxone (52.8%), metronidazole (24.8%), and vancomycin (21.0%). About 19% of the antibiotics were prescribed for intra-abdominal infections; followed by 16% used as prophylactics to prevent infections. Almost all antibiotics prescribed were administered intravenously (IV) 94.63%. In general, the average duration of antibiotic therapy was 7.33 ± 8.19 days. The study indicated that the number of antibiotics per prescription was statistically different between the hospitals (p = 0.022), and it was also affected by other variables like the diagnosis (p = 0.006), the duration of hospitalization (p < 0.001), and the NDPP (p < 0.001). The most commonly prescribed antibiotics and the cost of antibiotics per prescription were significantly different between the two hospitals (p < 0.001); The cost was much higher in the Palestinian Medical Complex. Conclusion: The practice of prescribing antibiotics in Palestine's public hospitals may be unnecessary and expensive. This has to be improved through education, adherence to recommendations, yearly immunization, and stewardship programs; intra-abdominal infections were the most commonly seen infection in inpatients and ceftriaxone was the most frequently administered antibiotic. Keywords: Antibiotics, Antimicrobial resistance, Cost analysis, Prescribing, Rational use of medicine.