Expired Tamiflu OK'd for liquid use

The youngest flu patients are getting better access to drug treatment. The FDA is authorizing use of expired Tamiflu to make an oral suspension of the drug, for small children and others who can't take the more broadly available capsule version.

Liquid Tamiflu has run short because Roche has been concentrating on churning out large amounts of the adult formulation of the antiviral. Compounding pharmacists have been mixing up their own liquid versions, suspending the adult form in a flavored syrup. In fact, the suspensions have been so popular, the company that makes the flavored syrup is struggling to meet a surge of orders, the New York Times reports.

In an effort to make sure enough oral suspension is available for kids, FDA tested certain expired lots of Tamiflu under the government's Shelf-Life Extension Program. It identified a number of lots that are still potent and can be used to make a suspension. The lots come from the government's national stockpile. There's no word on just how many doses those lots comprise.

- read the FDA announcement
- check out the story in the NYT