Roche prepares, sends Tamiflu
Swiss pharmaceutical company donates 5 million packs of its flu drug to the World Health Organisation in response to the swine flu outbreak.ZURICH - Swiss pharmaceutical group Roche said Monday it was ready to send out more reserves of its antiviral drug Tamiflu in response to the swine flu outbreak.
Roche said in a statement that it prepared additional supplies after the WHO increased its pandemic alert level.
Roche donated 5 million packs of Tamiflu to the WHO.
Governments worldwide have some 220 million doses of Tamiflu, a medicine to treat influenza and viruses, the company said in February.
Many states built up emergency reserves of the drug following bird flu outbreaks in recent years and warnings from the World Health Organisation that the virus could evolve into a pandemic strain.
Swine flu was blamed for dozens of deaths in Mexico in April and on Sunday the United States declared a health emergency amid signs the disease was spreading.
WHO officials warned Sunday that the new strain, apparently created when human and avian flu viruses infected pigs and became mixed, could mutate further.
Health officials said oseltamivir, or Tamiflu, appears to be effective in treating patients.
AFP / Expatica