HIQA HTA to inform primary care antibiotic prescribing

Work has started on HIQA’s health technology assessment (HTA) of point-of-care testing to guide antimicrobial prescribing in primary care.

The HIQA assessment will inform a decision as to whether point-of-care testing should be introduced to inform antibiotic prescribing in primary care in Ireland.

Along with collaborators across the EU, the HTA team is also leading a relative effectiveness assessment on the same research topic: C-reactive protein point-of-care testing to guide antibiotic prescribing in primary care settings for acute respiratory tract infections.

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing and significant threat to public health, and it is widely recognised that antibiotic resistance is driven by excessive and inappropriate antibiotic prescribing.

Biomarkers, such as C-reactive protein, are often elevated in a person’s blood in the presence of a bacterial infection. Therefore, biomarker point-of-care testing has the potential to guide antibiotic prescribing in patients presenting with symptoms of acute respiratory tract infections for whom there is clinical uncertainty regarding the presence of a bacterial infection.

It will examine the clinical effectiveness of point-of-care testing for this indication and will include an economic evaluation and assessment of the budget impact, organisational and other implications associated with its introduction in primary care.