Excess drug prescriptions during influenza and RSV seasons in the Netherlands: Potential implications for extended influenza vaccination

M.D. Assink, J.P. Kiewiet, M.H. Rozenbaum, P.B. van den Berg, E. Hak, E.J. Buskens, J.C. Wilschut, A.C. Kroes, M.J. Postma

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Influenza and respiratory syncytial Virus (RSV) infections are responsible for considerable morbidity, mortality and health-care resource use. For the Netherlands, we estimated age and risk-group Specific numbers of antibiotics, otologicals and cardiovascular prescriptions per 10,000 person-years during periods with elevated activity of influenza or RSV, and compared these with peri-season rates. Data were taken from the University of Groningen in-house prescription database (www.iadb.nl) and Virological Surveillance for the period 1998-2006. During influenza and RSV periods excess antibiotic prescriptions were estimated for all age groups. In the age groups 0-1 and 2-4 years. excess antibiotic prescriptions during periods with elevated RSV activity (65% and 59% of peri-seasonal rates) exceeded the surpluses estimated during the influenza-activity periods (24% and 34% of peri-seasonal rates) while for otologicals excess prescriptions were higher for influenza (22% and 27%) than for RSV (14% and 17%). Among persons of 50 years and older, notably those without medical high-risk conditions, excess prescriptions for cardiovascular medications were estimated during the influenza periods at approximately 10% (this was also already seen in persons aged 45-49). Our results may have implications for influenza vaccination policies. In particular, extension of influenza vaccination to groups of non-elderly adults and young children may lower excess prescriptions during these influenza periods for all three types of drug prescriptions investigated. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1119-1126
Aantal pagina's8
Nummer van het tijdschrift7
StatusPublished - 11-feb-2009

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