U.S. to boost Tamiflu, Relenza stockpiles

U.S. government guidelines are calling for tens of millions of more doses of antivirals to guard against a potential bird flu pandemic. Health and Human Services for the first time is recommending the use of Glaxo's Relenza and Roche's Tamiflu to prevent infection. The antivirals are considered first-line therapies in the event of an epidemic. And employers are being given advice on how they can stockpile antivirals for their workforce.


It could all add up to a hefty boost in sales for the big pharma companies. And that could come at an opportune moment for Roche, which has already satisfied a wave of orders from governments around the globe. The government is also spelling out recommendations for the number of face masks individuals should have on hand. Commuters are being advised to have around 100.


So far the U.S. has reportedly accumulated a stockpile of some 50 million doses, with states eligible to buy 31 million more doses of antivirals for a subsidized price. The new guidelines would bring the stockpile to 195 million doses.


- read the story at Hemscott