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India should increase precautionary measures against Bird flu

India's Wait and Watch Policy against preparing for Bird flu epidemic may be very risky in a situation when all other countries are taking intensified precautionary measures for curbing in case of a bird flu outbreak. Even the World Health Organization has asked India to beef up // its precautionary measures to avoid an epidemic.

India has a bird flu threat this winter from china due to spread from migratory birds like wild duck and fowl as these wild ducks and fowls are natural reservoirs of avian flu and unlike chicken, they don't die of it and when these birds come in contact with domestic chicken, they spread the virus. The Animal Disease Laboratory is testing diseases among animals and has confirmed that not even a single strain of the deadly H5N1 virus has been isolated in India in the last five years.

Swiss drug firm Roche has the manufacturing patent for Tamiflu and it is not compromising on its patent though request from various countries as the tablets produced by Roche would cost Rs. 180/tablet. If Generic drugs are allowed to be manufactured it will reduce the cost of the drug ’s representatives who were recently in India, the Indian government had failed to convince them to allow Indian pharma companies for generic version of Tamiflu. Roche has the patent for Tamiflu, the only known drug for bird flu, and its market price is Rs 180 per tablet and four pharmaceutical companies Teva Pharmaceuticals, Mylan Laboratories, Barr Laboratories and Ranbaxy are interested to manufacture the generic version of Tamiflu if Roche compromises on its patent. Indian Pharmaceutical company Cipla has manufactured an antiviral drug for bird flu called Zanamivir (Relenza) which is more cheaper and an alternative to Tamiflu.


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