The Potential Roles of Pharmacy Drug Sales Data in Increasing Syndromic Surveillance System in Response to COVID-19 and Preparing for Other Future Outbreaks of Infectious Diseases in Indonesia

This article was originally published here

Int J Health Plann Manage. October 15, 2021. doi: 10.1002 / hpm.3356. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Indonesia faces a continuing threat of communicable disease outbreaks. The current outbreak of COVID-19, the previous one of SARS and many other infectious epidemics encountered in the country warn of the need to develop comprehensive early warning systems to enable rapid long-term health responses. In this article, we argue that data on over-the-counter drug sales in community pharmacies in Indonesia can potentially increase and increase the detecting power of the current syndromic surveillance system, especially to deal with COVID-19 and other future epidemics of infectious diseases in the country.

MAIN BODY: This article discusses the experience of other countries in using pharmacy drug sales data to serve as a potential syndromic surveillance platform and to contribute to pandemic responses. We explain why it is worth considering using drug sales data from pharmacies in Indonesia to support the current surveillance system which enables the provision of early alerts in the event of an outbreak. We then discuss the potential challenges of operationalizing this data and propose a way forward for the development and implementation of the syndromic surveillance system in community pharmacies in Indonesia.

CONCLUSION: While there are several challenges in developing a functional system in Indonesia that need to be addressed, the introduction of a syndromic surveillance system using drug sales data from pharmacies deserves to be studied in the country.

PMID: 34655106 | DOI: 10.1002 / hpm.3356

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