Using Medications Sales from Retail Pharmacies for Syndromic Surveillance in Rural China

Weirong Yan, Liwei Cheng, Li Tan, Miao Yu, Shaofa Nie, Biao Xu, Lars Palm, Vinod Diwan


Drug sales data in syndromic surveillance has attracted particular interest in recent years, however few studies were conducted in resource-poor settings. This study is to establish a syndromic surveillance system using medications sales from retail pharmacies in rural China.123 drugs were selected under surveillance including antibiotics, antidiarrheal medications, antipyretics, compound cold medicine, and cough suppressants. During the beginning phase of the implementation, the reporting timeliness and completeness are satisfying, however further validation of the data will be required. Reporting mistakes were mainly due to system bugs, data provider unfamiliar with the system, and pharmacies reluctant to share data amongst others.

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics * ISSN 1947-2579 *