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Prescribing practices in German and Swiss psychiatric university and in non-university hospitals : national differences
International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
OBJECTIVE: There are great variations between hospitals in the way drugs are prescribed, and these variations may be due to multiple factors such as local prescribing traditions, pharmacoeconomic considerations, drug availability, regional differences of population, disease prevalence etc. Available studies on prescribing habits, apart from studies performed in a unique center, have until now been mainly restricted to single countries or regions and the comparisons across countries or regions have often been limited by the use of diverse methodologies and definitions. The aim of the present study was to compare drug prescriptions between German and Swiss psychiatric services with regard to their preference of newer psychotropics. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Five psychiatric hospitals, associated to the AMSP project, were chosen to represent Swiss and German clinics, university and non-university settings. Data were available from one index day on 572 patients and 1,745 prescriptions. The comparisons were adjusted for age and gender. RESULTS: There was a significant difference (p < 0.001) with regard to the prescription of newer antidepressants (NAD), Swiss clinicians giving proportionally more (65.2%) than the German psychiatrists (48.3%). No significant difference was, on the other hand, found as to the proportion of atypical antipsychotics, the lack of difference being due to the higher proportion of clozapine among the atypical antipsychotics in Germany. CONCLUSION: There seems, therefore, to be a higher propensity for Swiss hospital psychiatrists to prescribe newer antidepressants. This seems to be due to national or regional prescribing traditions. Further studies are needed to investigate the economical influences on antidepressant prescribing in Swiss and German clinics.
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