Roche studies boost in Tamiflu dose, duration

Roche is exploring another way to boost Tamiflu sales. The company says it's starting clinical trials to test whether the antiviral is more effective if taken at higher doses and for twice as long as the current five-day course. Longer treatment, of course, means more pills--and more revenue.

Already, second-quarter sales of the drug are expected to be much higher than first-quarter numbers because of the swine flu pandemic, the Financial Times reports. If its new research pays off, and the pandemic ramps up in the Northern Hemisphere this fall as predicted, the drug could see an even bigger surge in orders.

Production is in high gear as Roche resumes selling Tamiflu to companies and private clients, rather than restricting itself to government customers. The company had reserved new supplies for government pandemic orders. And Roche recently set up a Tamiflu-buying program designed for poorer countries, under which the drug will be available at lower cost and on deferred payment terms.

- read the FT story

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