5 years ago

Antibiotic use in South Korea from 2007 to 2014: A health insurance database-generated time series analysis

Euna Han, Soo Ok Lee, Dong-Sook Kim, Juhee Park

by Juhee Park, Euna Han, Soo Ok Lee, Dong-Sook Kim


Inappropriate antibiotic use significantly contributes to antibiotic-resistance, resulting in reduced antibiotic efficacy and increasing physical burden and cost of disease. The goal of this study was to explore antibiotic usage patterns in South Korea using 2007–2014 health insurance claims data.


We used the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service data, which represents nearly the entire population of South Korea, to discern patterns in antibiotic prescribing practices. The daily dose, as defined by the World Health Organization ([defined daily doses]/1000 inhabitants/day, [DID]), was used as a measure of antibiotic use. Subgroup analyses were performed on the basis of patient characteristics (sex, age, and disease) and provider characteristics (type of medical institution).


Antibiotic use in DID increased from 23.5 in 2007 to 27.7 in 2014. The ≤ 6 years old age group showed the highest level of usage at 59.21 DID in 2014, and showed an increasing trend each year. DIDs of beta-lactam antibacterials, penicillins (J01C), other beta-lactam antibacterials (J01D), lincosamides and streptogramins (J01F), quinolone antibacterials (J01M), and other antibacterials (J01X) increased over time.


This study provides valuable statistics regarding antibiotic usage in South Korea; this is important for guiding health policy with regard to antibiotic usage. There is a need for further study exploring antibiotics use and resistance.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177435

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