The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that up to 88 million H1N1 influenza cases, 398,000 hospitalizations, and up to 18,050 related deaths, including significant racial and ethnic disparities, occurred between April 2009 and March 13, 2010. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved emergency use authorizations (EUAs), which allowed the distribution of unapproved drugs or the off-label use of approved drugs. In late 2009, peramivir was granted an EUA for patients with severe disease. This study examined factors associated with willingness to take peramivir.
In 2010 we conducted a nationally representative survey with 2079 respondents randomly drawn from the Knowledge Networks research panel. Our completion rate was 56%. Respondents received information about peramivir from a fact sheet and then answered questions about their willingness to take the drug.
Overall, 48% of participants indicated that they would probably or definitely take peramivir. Seventy-nine percent definitely would take the drug if their doctor recommended it and there were no alternative treatments. There were significant racial differences in willingness. The term experimental to refer to the drug decreased willingness to accept peramivir among both whites and blacks.
Trust in the FDA was important for peramivir acceptance. Particular care must be taken to ensure that patients and their families understand the complex nature of EUA drugs. Lessons learned can inform communication about future EUAs. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:166-174)
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