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Outpatient Influenza Antivirals in a Distributed Data Network for Influenza Surveillance

    Basic Details

    Electronic data collected from routine healthcare can be used for public health surveillance. To examine the Sentinel System, a distributed data network of health plans, as a source for influenza surveillance, the authors compared trends in outpatient prescription dispensings of influenza antivirals in Sentinel to trends in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's ILINet and NREVSS systems over five seasons. There were 2,102,885 prescriptions dispensed of oseltamivir capsules, 494,188 of oseltamivir powder, and 7,955 of zanamivir. Across all seasons, the magnitude and timing of peaks in drug utilization were highly comparable to those in ILINet and NREVSS. Oseltamivir capsules and powder were well correlated with ILINet and NREVSS. This lays the foundation for further exploration of Sentinel's utility for influenza surveillance. 


    Noelle M. Cocoros, Genna Panucci, Nicole Haug, Carmen Maher, Marsha Reichman, Sengwee Toh

    Corresponding Author

    Noelle M. Cocoros, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School, 401 Park Drive, Suite 401, Boston, MA 02215 USA. Email address: