HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Tamiflu Supply

As you may have heard, the drug Tamiflu, has been floated as a potentially helpful medicine for those infected with the Bird Flu.  Unfortunately, it does not appear that the United States has a large supply at this point.  And just as unfortunate, the maker of Tamiflu, Roche, is not talking about its production capacity.   According to Effect Measure,

The US currently has a pathetic 2.3 million treatment courses in its "Strategic" National Stockpile (the SNS). Maybe we need another strategy just new stragetists). Roche revealed that in May DHHS signed a "nonbinding letter of intent" to buy another (pathetic) 3 million treatment courses:

This amount is far below the 133 million treatment courses that the National Vaccine Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices agreed on Tuesday is the optimal amount to stockpile for pandemic preparedness.

Andrew Pavia, chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's Task Force on Pandemic Influenza, told the committees that the minimum amount of oseltamivir needed for "a robust public health response" is about 40 million treatment courses, an estimate that is far above the amount currently being publicly discussed for the stockpile.


Some countries, according to Roche, have contracted for enough oseltamivir to treat 20–40 percent of their populations during a pandemic.


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