Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Stockpiling Drugs for an Avian Influenza Outbreak: Examining the Surge in Oseltamivir Prescriptions During Heightened Media Coverage of the Potential for a Worldwide Pandemic

  • Leanne B. Gasink (a1) (a2) (a3), Darren R. Linkin (a1) (a4) (a2) (a3), Neil O. Fishman (a1) (a3), Warren B. Bilker (a4), Mark G. Weiner (a5) and Ebbing Lautenbach (a1) (a4) (a2) (a3)...
Abstract
Objective.

During fall 2005, personal stockpiling of oseltamivir for use during an outbreak of H5N1 influenza virus infection was widely reported. The present study aimed to identify indications for oseltamivir prescriptions to determine whether oseltamivir that was not intended for seasonal influenza was inappropriately consumed and to compare persons who were likely to have stockpiled oseltamivir and those who did not with respect to their knowledge, understanding, concerns, and expectations regarding avian influenza.

Design.

Survey to evaluate usage patterns for oseltamivir and assess views about avian influenza.

Subjects.

A total of 109 outpatients who received a prescription for oseltamivir between September 1, 2005, and December 31, 2005, and 825 matched control subjects.

Results.

Of 109 prescriptions, 36 (33.0%) were prescribed for patients with appropriate indications. Sixty-eight (62.4%) of 109 patients identified as having received oseltamivir and 440 (53.3%) of 825 individuals identified as not having received it responded to the questionnaire. Only 2 prescription recipients whose oseltamivir was not intended for immediate consumption reported that they had consumed the oseltamivir. Persons who probably intended to stockpile oseltamivir were older and more often white than those unlikely to stockpile it. They also reported greater worry about avian influenza and more often expected avian influenza to spread to the United States than those unlikely to stockpile, but there were no significant differences in responses to other questionnaire items.

Conclusions.

A large proportion of the oseltamivir prescriptions written in fall 2005 were probably intended for personal stockpiling. Similarities in participants' responses to questionnaire items suggest that educational campaigns may not be an effective method to curtail stockpiling of antimicrobial medications during an infectious threat. Promoting appropriate prescribing practices among providers may be a better means by which to minimize personal stockpiling.

Copyright
Corresponding author
University of Pennsylvania, Ground Floor Penn Tower, Ste. 101, 33rd and Civic Center Boulevards, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (leanne.gasink@uphs.upenn.edu)
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

, . ;:–.1. AS Brett A Zuger The run on Tamiflu—should physicians prescribe on demand? New Engl J Med 2005 353 26362637

3. JR Ortiz , DK Shay , LA Liedtke , JS Bresee , LI Strausbaugh . A national survey of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Emerging Infections Network concerning neuraminidase inhibitor prescription practices and pandemic influenza preparations. Clin Infect Dis 2006;43:494497.

, , , , , . . ;:.4. NM M'ikanatha KG Julian AR Kunselman RC Aber JT Rankin E Lautenbach Patients' request for and emergency physicians' prescription of antimicrobial prophylaxis for anthrax during the 2001 bioterrorism-related outbreak BMC Public Health 2005 5 2

, , . . ;:–.5. A Brinker C Pamer J Beitz Changes in ciprofloxacin utilization as shown in a large pharmacy claims database: effects of proximity to criminal anthrax exposure in October 2001 J Am Pharm Assoc 2003 43 375378

6. D Shaffer , G Armstrong , K Higgins , et al.Increased US prescription trends associated with the CDC Bacillus anthracis antimicrobial post-exposure prophylaxis campaign. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2003;12:177182.

. . ;:–.7. E Navas Problems associated with potential massive use of antimicrobial agents as prophylaxis or therapy of a bioterrorist attack Clin Microbiol Infect 2002 8 534539

8. S Ceaser , R Wurtz . “Leftover” antibiotics in the medicine cabinet. Ann Intern Med 2000;133:74.

9. L Grigoryan , FM Haaijer-Rysjamp , JG Burgerhof , et al.Self-medication with antimicrobial drugs in Europe. Emerg Infect Dis 2006;12:452459

10. PB Richman , G Garra , B Eskin , AH Nashed , R Cody . Oral antibiotic use without consulting a physician: a survey of ED patients. Am J Emerg Med 2001;19:5760.

, . . ;:–.12. JK Taubenberger DM Morens 1918 Influenza: the mother of all pandemics Emerg Infect Dis 2006 12 1522

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
  • URL: /core/journals/infection-control-and-hospital-epidemiology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 8 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.