The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Roche gives poor countries easier access to swine flu drug Tamiflu

  • Print

BASEL, Switzerland - Pharmaceutical maker Roche Holding AG said Wednesday a new initiative will ensure that poor countries get its antiviral drug against swine flu at a lower price.

Under the Tamiflu Reserves Program, Roche will produce and ship the drug to developing countries upon order at a "significantly reduced price," it said.

A treatment of Tamiflu for a single ill person will cost between C2 euros and 6 euros (US$2.80 and $8.50), depending on the dosage, Roche said in a statement. The price excludes local taxes or tariffs, it added.

Tamiflu sells for as much as $100 per five-day treatment course in countries such as the U.S., but since 2005 the company has offered a discounted price of $16 per treatment to poor nations. Roche has also given approval for two companies - one in China and one in India - to produce Tamiflu generically.

Developing countries can order Tamiflu with Roche as of Wednesday, Rupp said.

The company will discuss with the World Health Organization and other UN agencies how to distribute the drug in the countries, she said.

Antivirals such as Tamiflu can shorten swine flu illness by about a day if given early. GlaxoSmithKline's Relenza is also believed to be similarly effective.

Many rich countries sit on stockpiles of Tamiflu.

David Reddy, who leads Roche's pandemic preparedness task force, said only six of the world's low income countries have stockpiled Tamiflu - a 0.02 per cent coverage for those countries.

Since populations in developing countries have more health problems like HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and pneumonia, experts believe the pandemic will have a more devastating impact there.

WHO has a stockpile of about five million Tamiflu treatment courses donated by Roche, and sent 2.4 million treatments to 72 poor countries in May.

Over 7,000 people have come down with swine flu worldwide and 311 died of it, according to the latest WHO figures.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bombers This Week: It's must win time

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goslings with some size head for cover Wednesday afternoon on Commerce Drive in Tuxedo Business Park - See Bryksa 30 Goose Challenge- Day 12- May 16, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Perfect Day- Paul Buteux walks  his dog Cassie Tuesday on the Sagimay Trail in Assiniboine Forest enjoying a almost perfect  fall day in Winnipeg- Standup photo – September 27, 2011   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think e-cigarettes should be banned by the school division?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google