Anti-flu drug to be rationed in Australia

May 6, 2009 3:09 am 

CANBERRA, May 5 — The Australian Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said on Tuesday that supply of Tamiflu will be rationed in Australia after a rush on the anti-viral drug in response to the global influenza A/H1N1 outbreak.

"This will help tackle the issue that we fear some people are stockpiling individually these anti-virals when they have no symptoms," Roxon told reporters in Canberra.

About 10,000 Tamiflu courses were usually sold in an entire flu season. And there were more than 120,000 courses have been sold in the past week.

Roxon said new stocks of Tamiflu will start coming onto the market in the next few weeks.

"It's anticipated that this will provide 20,000 courses of Tamiflu per week," Roxon said.

Drug maker Roche will supply Tamiflu to hospitals for treatment of confirmed cases of influenza.

According to data released by Australian Department of Health and Ageing, there were 454 Australians being tested for influenza A/H1N1, with 430 have been cleared from the virus.

There has no confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu in Australia at this stage. (PNA/Xinhua) utb/utb

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