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Roche Introduces Program to Facilitate Corporate Pandemic Stockpiling of Tamiflu(R)
Date:6/26/2008

- Offers Businesses New Flexibility for Pandemic Planning -

NUTLEY, N.J., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Roche announced today the introduction of a flexible purchase program that will allow U.S. businesses to maintain access to their own stockpile of Tamiflu(R) for use in a pandemic situation, with limited upfront investment and more adaptability to deal with unknown factors inherent in pandemic planning.

Under the new plan, businesses pay a nominal annual fee to "reserve" their own stockpile of Tamiflu, which Roche will store and rotate to keep "in date." The contract comes up for renewal annually, at which time companies will have the opportunity to re-evaluate their investment decision. If and when a company decides to take possession of the medicine - for example, if a novel strain of influenza virus begins human-to-human spread - they can purchase their dedicated product from Roche at the prevailing wholesale price. Roche will guarantee delivery within 48 hours in most circumstances.

"This program addresses questions we've heard from executives, who are interested in securing Tamiflu for their employees, but desire more flexible planning options, especially with regard to timing," said Mike McGuire, vice president of anti-infectives for Roche. "We think this option will present something of a 'tipping point' for some companies, allowing them to create the best possible situation for the health of their business as well as their employees."

Businesses can still purchase Tamiflu outright and consider pre- distribution to their employees, which is what some corporations have preferred.

"Roche continues to work with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to aid the stockpiling of antivirals by businesses," said George Abercrombie, CEO and president of Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. "This new program greatly facilitates corporate antiviral stockpiling and clearly demonstrates Roche's long-standing commitment to creating
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