Navigation Links
Half of Tamiflu prescriptions went unused during 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, UK sewage study
Date:4/17/2013

A new study concludes that approximately half of the prescriptions of Tamiflu during the 2009-10 influenza pandemic went unused in England. The unused medication represents approximately 600,000 courses of Tamiflu at a cost of around 7.8 million to the UK taxpayer. The novel scientific method used in the study could help measure and improve the effectiveness of future pandemic flu strategies.

The finding, published online this week in the open access scientific journal PLOS ONE, comes from the first study of its kind to use sewage water to estimate drug compliance rates, the degree to which a patient correctly follows medical advice to take medication. The study estimated usage of pharmaceuticals from large populations by sampling sewage and recovering the active component of Tamiflu thus measuring drugs that were actually consumed by patients, rather than those that were flushed away without being consumed.

The work was led by scientists at the UK's Centre for Ecology & Hydrology working with colleagues at Uppsala, Linnaeus and Ume Universities, Sweden, and the University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic.

Lead author Dr Andrew Singer, a Chemical Ecologist from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, says, "Influenza pandemics are rare, making a study such as this a unique and important window into how people behave during a public health emergency such as a pandemic. This study sheds new light on people's willingness to follow medical advice on antiviral usage. Importantly, this method could be used to monitor how many people take certain kinds of medicine in real time and alert national health authorities to the need for stronger public information campaigns during pandemic emergencies."

The research highlights that despite the central role of antivirals in many nations' influenza pandemic preparedness plans, there remains considerable uncertainty regarding antiviral compliance rates. Poor compliance drains resources by diverting limited antiviral stocks from those who may need it most. Mis-used antivirals can lead to antiviral resistance and represents a significant financial cost and health risk. Previous research on antiviral compliance had focused on small populations, typically fewer than 200, and used survey-based analyses of drug compliance, which can be unreliable.

Dr Singer adds, "Our study was the first compliance study to utilise waste water as an evidence base for whether a population consumed Tamiflu or not. Because of this unique study design, we were able to examine populations orders of magnitude larger than previous studies. One population was just over 6,000 people and the second population was 208,000. Tamiflu gets transformed into the active antiviral only after being consumed, and is released into the sewage with every visit to the toilet. This waste water epidemiology approach is particularly robust for drugs such as Tamiflu and potentially more reliable than some survey based methods of assessing compliance."

Predictions of oseltamivir consumption from Tamiflu recovered in sewage were compared with two sources of national government statistics to derive compliance rates. Scenario and sensitivity analysis indicated an estimated compliance rate between 45-60%, (between 45 to 60 people out of every 100 people who received Tamiflu completed the antiviral course, as prescribed).

Dr Singer says, "With approximately half the collected antivirals going unused, there is a clear need to improve public health messages so that less antiviral is wasted and that the duration and severity of infection is reduced. Furthermore, we feel the waste water epidemiology approach undertaken can potentially help shape future public health messages, making them more timely, targeted, and population sensitive, while potentially leading to less mis- and un-used antiviral, less wastage and ultimately a more robust and efficacious pandemic preparedness strategy."


'/>"/>

Contact: Barnaby Smith
bpgs@ceh.ac.uk
44-079-202-95384
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 3 distinguished keynote speakers to present during ARVO 2013 Annual Meeting
2. Preventing obesity transmission during pregnancy
3. Female deer take control during the mating season
4. Abuse during childhood linked to uterine fibroids in African-American women
5. Choline supplementation during pregnancy presents a new approach to schizophrenia prevention
6. Chromosome anchors organize DNA during cell division
7. Music with dinner: Whales sing during foraging season, not just while breeding
8. Abuse during childhood linked to adult-onset asthma in African-American women
9. Insight into DNA reprogramming during egg and sperm cell development
10. OHSU study shows that a molecule critical to nerve cells increases drammatically during hypertension
11. New risk factor identified for high blood pressure during pregnancy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2017)... York , April 19, 2017 ... as its vendor landscape is marked by the presence ... market is however held by five major players - ... Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of the ... the leading companies in the global military biometrics market ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K ... Commission. ... 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s ... the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... , April 13, 2017 According to a ... Identity Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment ... the IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 Billion in ... Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/24/2017)... -- Dante Labs announced today the offer of whole genome sequencing ... American individuals have been able to access WGS at $1,000, ... below EUR 1,000. The sequencing includes bioinformatics analysis ... make informed decisions about disease monitoring, prevention, nutrition, exercise, health ... ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Having worked on the ... Formaspace is pleased to introduce it to top lab design architects from around the ... Turk and VP of Industrial Design and Engineering Greg Casey will be at the ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 21, 2017 , ... ... and related applications were the focus of researchers, engineers, product developers, and industry ... in Anaheim. , Sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. ... bio and technology start-ups, is hosting “Celebration Friday” (a festive gathering highlighting client ... with libations and networking at 3:30 p.m. at FITCI’s 4539 Metropolitan Court location, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: