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More Tamiflu released for UK areas hit by seasonal flu

Published on 10/02/06 at 10:26am

Extra supplies of anti-viral treatment Tamiflu are to be made available in areas of the UK suffering from high levels of seasonal influenza, manufacturers Roche have confirmed.

Tamiflu became a household name in 2005 as fears about a bird flu pandemic increased and governments around the world sought to stockpile the drug in preparation.

In the UK, the government and Roche have tightly controlled supplies of the drug to ensure the most at-risk groups have access to the treatment and to prevent individuals from attempting to stockpile it.

The drug is also used to treat the existing seasonal influenza, and Roche has responded by releasing more supplies to UK areas badly affected by the flu.

The company says it has been working closely with the Department of Health and the Health Protection Agency in monitoring flu levels around the country, and says it has set aside more Tamiflu for flu treatment than in previous years.

Roche has also made it clear the move will not hit supplies set aside for a possible bird flu outbreak in Britain, and says it is still on track to deliver 14.6m treatment courses of Tamiflu to the government for this purpose by September this year.

Tamiflu recently received EU approval to prevent influenza in children aged 1-12 years, following a similar approval in the US in December, bringing it into line with its preventative licence for adults.

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