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Tamiflu Is Set Aside for WHO
posted by admin on 21/04/06

Roche Holding AG has stockpiled 30 million capsules Tamiflu to be used by WHO.

BASEL, Switzerland -- Roche Holding AG said Wednesday that a rapid-response stockpile of the antiviral drug Tamiflu was ready and at the disposal of the World Health Organization.

The stockpile of three million treatment courses -- or 30 million capsules -- could be used by WHO in response to any pandemic influenza outbreak. The Swiss pharmaceutical giant would deliver the required stockpile to an international airport of WHO's choice.

The drug is regarded as the best initial defense against any pandemic resulting from a mutation of the deadly bird flu virus.

The aim of the stockpile is to contain any emerging outbreak and to slow or prevent its spread, Roche said.

Under a separate agreement, Roche has also donated a further two million treatment courses of Tamiflu to WHO for use in those developing countries most likely to be affected by bird flu in humans and which are unable to afford the drug.

These treatments can be used by WHO according to its own assessments and will be available at the end of this year, Roche said.

Copyright © 2006 Associated Press

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