Sunday, February 05, 2006

Flu drug shortage has wide-ranging impact

From the Globe and Mail:
Doctors, nurses and other emergency workers are unlikely to receive preventive doses of a drug that is predicted to be the best defence against infection during an influenza pandemic because the existing stock will be needed to treat the seriously ill.

This is the reality, officials say, despite the fact that Canada's pandemic influenza plan states that antiviral drugs, in particularly oseltamivir (marketed as Tamiflu), could be used as a "prophylactic" to prevent or reduce the severity of the disease among people essential to keeping society functioning. These include firefighters, police, elected officials, funeral directors, utility workers and even truck drivers who transport food and medicine. ...more

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