Bird Flu :: Roche’s Tamiflu for influenza, to combat H5N1 bird flu virus

Roche announces several new research initiatives to further study the use of Tamiflu against the evolving H5N1 avian influenza virus and outlined the future production strategy for Tamiflu.

Based on current government orders Roche will start tailoring the Tamiflu production schedule while maintaining stock of intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredient along the supply chain. Gearing up production to full capacity will be triggered by one of two events

Roche inventories of final active ingredient (oseltamivir) or key intermediates drop below target levels

WHO declares pandemic has evolved to phase 4 (human to human transmission)

Roche has taken a number of additional steps to help prepare for a possible pandemic.

Roche donated more than 5 million treatment courses to the World Health Organization for emergency use.

Roche sub-licensed the patent for oseltamivir to companies in India, China and Africa to provide oseltamivir in these regions.

Roche established a special price for government orders and implemented a further price reduction for low income countries.

Roche?s efforts to support government pandemic stockpiling

In the last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) reconfirmed the need for world governments to be vigilant in their plans to protect against a potential pandemic outbreak. WHO also reconfirmed that stockpiling antivirals – in particular oseltamivir- in advance is presently the only way to ensure that sufficient supplies are available in the event of a pandemic. Roche has been working closely with WHO and national governments to ensure governments are aware of the importance of stockpiling antivirals in the event of a pandemic situation. Roche has received and fulfilled pandemic orders for Tamiflu from more than 80 countries worldwide. The magnitude of these orders varies with some countries, France, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and UK stockpiling or intending to stockpile adequate quantities of Tamiflu to cover 20-40% of their population.

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