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Drug sales data analysis for outbreak detection of infectious diseases: a systematic literature review

Abstract : Background: This systematic literature review aimed to summarize evidence for the added value of drug sales data analysis for the surveillance of infectious diseases. Methods: A search for relevant publications was conducted in Pubmed, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane Library, African Index Medicus and Lilacs databases. Retrieved studies were evaluated in terms of objectives, diseases studied, data sources, methodologies and performance for real-time surveillance. Most studies compared drug sales data to reference surveillance data using correlation measurements or indicators of outbreak detection performance (sensitivity, specificity, timeliness of the detection). Results: We screened 3266 articles and included 27 in the review. Most studies focused on acute respiratory and gastroenteritis infections. Nineteen studies retrospectively compared drug sales data to reference clinical data, and significant correlations were observed in 17 of them. Four studies found that over-the-counter drug sales preceded clinical data in terms of incidence increase. Five studies developed and evaluated statistical algorithms for selecting drug groups to monitor specific diseases. Another three studies developed models to predict incidence increase from drug sales. Conclusions: Drug sales data analyses appear to be a useful tool for surveillance of gastrointestinal and respiratory disease, and OTC drugs have the potential for early outbreak detection. Their utility remains to be investigated for other diseases, in particular those poorly surveyed.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 11, 2020 - 12:24:22 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 18, 2022 - 4:28:14 AM
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Mathilde Pivette, Judith Mueller, Pascal Crepey, Avner Bar-Hen. Drug sales data analysis for outbreak detection of infectious diseases: a systematic literature review. BMC Infectious Diseases, 2014, 14 (1), pp.604. ⟨10.1186/s12879-014-0604-2⟩. ⟨hal-03033440⟩



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