Bird Flu Alert:
Tamiflu(c) and the Politics of Medicine
Tamiflu(c), manufactured by Roche, a Swiss company, is the FDA approved medicine purported to be an effective treatment for influenza. It has been around for years but hasn’t sold well due to the lack of a large influenza epidemic in the world. The threatened Bird Flu pandemic has changed that. Now stocks of Tamiflu(c) are in great demand and large quantities are impossible to secure. Roche is backlogged for years into the future. World health authorities including the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) are urging Roche to license other companies to make the drug, but they are resisting, claiming the drug-making process takes a year and that it would take new makers three years to get tooled up and that the main ingredient is in limited supply. They have been caught in a lie, however.