Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Half of Tamiflu prescriptions went unused during 2009 swine flu pandemic
Around 50% of the Tamiflu prescriptions issued during the influenza pandemic in 2009–10 went unused in England, a study by the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) has found.
The unused medication represents approximately 600,000 courses of Tamiflu at a cost of around £7.8m to the UK taxpayer.
The finding, published online 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 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 swallowed.