Background The antifungals are among the pharmacological groups that contribute more to the increase in the number of drugs used each year in Spanish hospitals. One of the strategies adopted to contain the increase in pharmaceutical waste is the agreement of departments to optimise the use of drugs.
Purpose To analyse the changes in the trend towards using antifungals of the Haematology department in a tertiary hospital, after the creation and introduction of a protocol for use of those drugs was agreed as an objective for 2011.
Materials and methods A descriptive study was made of all the antifungals used by the Haematology department between January-September, performing a comparative analysis 2010-2011. The differences in use of groups of antifungals were found in terms of the number of defined daily doses (DDDs) used, as well as in the financial repercussions.
Results The number of antifungals purchased annually by the Haematology department decreased by 20.9%, compared with the overall decrease in the hospital of 22.04%. An increase in the use of echinocandins was noted, the number of DDDs prescribed increasing by 2.88%, Caspofungin being the most used (73.5%). The total DDDs of azoles decreased by 5.93%, oral voriconazole being the drug used less (-33.19%), while an increase in the use of posaconazole was observed (80.18%). The polyene antifungals experienced a higher reduction in use, the DDDs used dropping by 55.49%. The financial repercussions of this reduced use in the Haematology department represented a decrease in the amount of this pharmacological group of 102,200.68 €, contributing 31.36% of the savings achieved by this department in the hospital's total drugs bill.
Conclusions The objective agreed for 2011 has modified the trend in antifungal use in the Haematology department. The decrease in the use of polyene antifungals has been the change with the most effect. These modifications have contributed to containing pharmaceutical waste in our hospital.
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