[Source: PLoS ONE, full text: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Association of Over-The-Counter Pharmaceutical Sales with Influenza-Like-Illnesses to Patient Volume in an Urgent Care Setting
Timothy Y. Liu, Jason L. Sanders, Fu-Chiang Tsui, Jeremy U. Espino, Virginia M. Dato, Joe Suyama
We studied the association between OTC pharmaceutical sales and volume of patients with influenza-like-illnesses (ILI) at an urgent care center over one year. OTC pharmaceutical sales explain 36% of the variance in the patient volume, and each standard deviation increase is associated with 4.7 more patient visits to the urgent care center (p<0.0001). Cross-correlation function analysis demonstrated that OTC pharmaceutical sales are significantly associated with patient volume during non-flu season (p<0.0001), but only the sales of cough and cold (p<0.0001) and thermometer (p<0.0001) categories were significant during flu season with a lag of two and one days, respectively. Our study is the first study to demonstrate and measure the relationship between OTC pharmaceutical sales and urgent care center patient volume, and presents strong evidence that OTC sales predict urgent care center patient volume year round.
Citation: Liu TY, Sanders JL, Tsui F-C, Espino JU, Dato VM, et al. (2013) Association of Over-The-Counter Pharmaceutical Sales with Influenza-Like-Illnesses to Patient Volume in an Urgent Care Setting. PLoS ONE 8(3): e59273. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059273
Editor: Randen Lee Patterson, UC Davis School of Medicine, United States of America
Received: December 14, 2012; Accepted: February 13, 2013; Published: March 21, 2013
Copyright: © 2013 Liu et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funding: The authors have no funding or support to report.
Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.