48 outlets to stock Tamiflu in state


The State health department on Saturday received a notification from the Union Health ministry to allow sale of anti-viral drug Oseltamivir in retail outlets to patients with H1N1 Influenza symptoms on prescription.

Oseltamivir, (known by the brand name Tamiflu) will be made available in the existing 48 retail outlets and 22 wholesale outlets in the State, which have licence to sell 'Schedule X' (with double prescription) drugs. Incidentally, majority of these outlets are in Bangalore and Mysore.   

Elaborating on this, State Drug Controller Dr B R Jagashetty, said, “Only those retail outlets, which have licence for Schedule X drugs can stock Oseltamivir. We are also informing the district officials to see that there are two or three authorised retail outlets in every district, which will happen by early next week. For this, many outlets will be given licence by our officers within a day.”

However, Health Secretary I R Perumal pointed out that the State government will allow the existing retail outlets to sell Oseltamivir to the public based on regulations laid down by the Ministry of Health. “The anti-viral drug for H1N1 Influenza will be available to the public across the counter. However, it will be provided to them only on proper prescription,” he said. To curb misuse of drug sales, the retail outlets will have to report to the designated drug controller office with the prescriptions every fortnight.

There are five manufacturers of Oseltamivir in the country, out of which one - Strides Arcolab Limited - is based in Karnataka, said Dr Jagashetty. The pharma company manufacturing the anti-viral drug under the brand name 'Star Flu' was supplying Oseltamivir to the Central government. The company has a lab in Mangalore and has been importing the raw material for the drug from abroad. “The drug was not labelled for 'Schedule X'. However, the manufacturers will re-label it in two to three days,” said the Drug Controller.

Two more die of H1N1

Two more deaths in the City were attributed to the dreaded H1N1 Influenza on Saturday.

A 12-year-old girl and a 29-year-old man were admitted to private hospitals in the City. Both the patients died on September 18. The girl was admitted on September 15, while the man came to the hospital on September 10. With this, the death toll in the State has risen to 77 with Bangalore alone reporting 57 deaths. Meanwhile, 21 fresh H1N1 positive cases were confirmed in the State, with the total positive cases going up by 873. While Bangalore received 18 cases, one each was reported in Bidar, Bijapur and Gulbarga.

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