Huge stocks of Tamiflu available: Expert

Huge stocks of Tamiflu available: Expert

 
Gowda, who was adviser to the High Security Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (HSDDL), Bhopal, during the bird flu outbreak said that Tamiflu was imported in large quantity during the flu outbreak and said that the drug might have entered the black market following the outbreak of swine flu.

“After the import, a circular was also issued to all the states regarding the availability of the drug. It has remained in the country as there is no chance of returning it,” he said.

He pointed out that once the drug arrives in the country, it cannot be returned because it is brought to meet any eventuality. “This being an emergency drug, any state facing the threat can draw. May be the existing drug might be from the affected areas of Maharashtra or North Eastern regions, including West Bengal, where the disease was rampant,” he said.
The drug has a shelf life of three to four years. 

‘Tablets in market may be spurious’

Tamiflu, if any available in the market, must be spurious, according to I R Perumal, Principal Secretary, Health Department, reports DHNS from Bangalore.

The Centre is the sole supplier of Tamiflu to all the States. At present, Karnataka has a stock of 12,000 tablets and each district hospital has 100 tablets. There absolutely is no shortage of the tablet, he said.

“Each patient is supposed to take only two tablets a day. The treatment lasts for seven days. This means a patient requires just 14 tablets. There is no question of shortage when we have a stock of 10,000 tablets. Why will anyone buy the medicine in black market? People cannot take Tamiflu as a preventive measure since the medicine acts only when a person is affected by the virus. There is no point in stocking the medicine in advance,” the officer said. The tablet costing Rs 43.55 each is supplied to the patients free of cost, he disclosed. Perumal said that of the 376 samples drawn till date from April 28, 55 have tested positive for H1N1. While 52 patients have been discharged after treatment, three patients are still under treatment.

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