Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pandemic hysteria leads to overstocking of Tamiflu

During the height of hysteria about the possibility of a pandemic flu, New Zealanders began placing orders en masse for the best known defense against a possible pandemic: Tamiflu. Many other nations experienced similar reactions.

"Between 12 and 18 months ago, people had rushed to place orders for Tamiflu, saying they would wait up to six months for the drug to arrive. However, interest in bird flu seems to have waned "

Now, many pharmacy shelves are overstocked with the drug, as many of those rushing to place orders last year no longer want it.

"Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand president Steve Wise said ironically about a year ago you could not get Tamiflu "for love nor money", but there was now a surplus."

New Zealand doesn't expect to be able to exhaust its current stocks through treatment of seasonal flu. The current stocks expire in 2010, and the over-purchasing of the drug has raised concerns that much of the stocks will simply go to waste.

Full story: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4253690a11.html

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