• Use of oseltamivir in Dutch nursing homes during the 2004-2005 influenza season.

      Sande, Marianne A B van der; Ruijs, Wilhelmina L M; Meijer, Adam; Cools, Herman J M; Plas, Simone M van der (2006-11-10)
      To assess the implementation of guidelines for using neuraminidase inhibitors in the control of influenza outbreaks in Dutch nursing homes, data were collected on prophylactic and therapeutic use of anti-viral medication, indications for use and criteria for prescribing, based on experiences during the influenza season 2004-2005 in a retrospective cross-sectional survey among Dutch nursing homes after the 2004-2005 season. Ninety/194 (49%) participating nursing homes reported an outbreak of influenza-like illness; in 57/194 (29%) influenza was laboratory confirmed. In 37/57 homes (65%) oseltamivir had been used as prophylaxis. Prophylactic use was extended to all residents and staff in 6/37 (16%) of homes, but limited in the others. In 9/37 (24%) no staff were issued prophylaxis. Among clinicians with laboratory confirmed influenza, 41/46 (89%) had used oseltamivir therapeutically. Main reasons for not prescribing oseltamivir for prophylaxis and/or therapy were lack of scientific evidence, high costs, and absent or delayed laboratory confirmation. Logistical bottlenecks in diagnosis, cost-effectiveness concerns, and lack of an evidence-base hamper full integration in policy and should be addressed.