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Quality Digest

FDA Compliance

Pharmaceutical Companies Preparing for Avian Flu Outbreak

Published: Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 22:00

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America reports that PhRMA member-companies are helping world governments prepare for the possibility of an avian flu pandemic.An important line of defense in the event of an outbreak will be antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu, a Roche product, and Relenza, a GlaxoSmithKline product. Roche and GSK are working with the World Health Organization to establish rapid-response stockpiles to slow or halt an influenza pandemic, and Roche has received and will fill stockpile orders from around 40 nations. The U.S. government currently has enough Tamiflu for 2.3 million Americans.

GSK is expanding its Relenza manufacturing capabilities and has contracted with several countries, including the United States, to provide antiviral treatments. The company is also working to develop an avian flu vaccine, and has clinical trials with the H5N1 strain planned for 2006.

“These treatments and vaccines are important to address the possible public health concerns arising from an avian flu outbreak,” says Billy Tauzin, president and CEO of the PhRMA. “PhRMA member-companies also are working with U.S. and foreign governments to monitor bird-flu developments, an important step in addressing the health threat. We will continue to be vigilant and responsive to the needs of governments and the public as we work to avoid the spread of avian influenza.”

For more information, visit www.phrma.org.


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