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

ce with seasonal flu has shown that antiviral drugs are an important tool in the arsenal of weapons that could be used to help contain a flu pandemic," said Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Tevi Troy. "They may play a critical role in the earliest pandemic stages, by helping contain an early outbreak wherever it occurs, slowing the spread of the disease, and treating those who are ill during later community outbreaks."

The Strategic National Stockpile of antiviral medications will only cover 25% of the population. Moreover, if antivirals are used preventatively, as the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends, additional supplies would be needed.

Antivirals such as Tamiflu are most effective if taken early, within 48 hours of illness onset. The WHO currently has regional stockpiles in place and administers the antiviral drugs to patients as part of its Rapid Response Protocol for human cases of H5N1 avian influenza virus.

"Roche supports the public health community in its goal to distribute as much medicine as possible before a pandemic outbreak," explains McGuire. "Once an outbreak occurs or a pandemic flu starts spreading, it will be impossible to meet immediate and widespread demand for Tamiflu."

"Stockpiling of antivirals is an essential act of preparedness for a potential flu pandemic, but it is one that is a shared responsibility that extends across all levels of government and all segments of society," Deputy Secretary Troy said. "Planning efforts by business and private industry, such as this new Roche stockpiling program, comprise a fundamental part of our nation's efforts to ensure community resilience in a public health emergency. We encourage government, private industry and individuals to take action to prepare."

Roche is a Committed Partner and Resource for Pandemic Preparedness

The introduction of the new corporate purchase program is the most recent effort by Roche in its collaboration with busine
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SOURCE Roche
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