Government to procure 1 mn doses of swine flu drug

April 30th, 2009 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) Indian health authorities Thursday said one million doses of antiviral drug would be procured soon in addition to one million currently available in the stock to treat swine flu.
“We need one million antiviral drugs for treating swine flu cases,” said an official of the Department of Pharmaceuticals Industry under the chemicals and fertilisers ministry.

The new stock of anti-viral drugs to treat swine influenza - a respiratory disease found in pigs and which can be contracted by humans - will be procured over a span of a week from pharmaceutical companies like Roche, Glaxo, Cipla and Hetero.

Late Wednesday, the World Health Organisation raised its pandemic influenza alert to the second highest level, indicating it believed swine influenza is spreading across countries.

Whereas Britain has enough doses to treat 30 million people, India has about a million doses, which can treat about 142,000 people.

A health ministry spokesperson said the government has “enough store” of the anti-viral drug. “We do not have any other details in this regard,” he said.

Meanwhile, officials are being briefed on the “standard operating procedures”, a method which would be adopted across the country to distribute the drug and the method of treatment.

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