Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pharmaceutical Digest - Roche's Tamiflu could halve flu-pandemic death toll

Pharmaceutical Digest
26th June 2007


A Canadian study suggesting that the best way to prevent deaths in a bird flu pandemic is treatment with Tamiflu will be good news for manufacturer Roche. The research claims that as a vaccine would take six months to a year to develop in the event of an outbreak, a readily available anti-viral treatment would be the best short-term solution and could halve deaths worldwide. However, this prediction relies on governments stockpiling enough of the drug to cover 65% of the population. In the US, the government has stockpiled enough Tamiflu to treat only a quarter of the population in the event of a pandemic. If governments decide to increase their stockpiles to meet the recommendations of the report, Roche stands to benefit from the increased demand.

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