November 11, 2005
Roche To Increase Tamiflu Production Capacity By Factor Of 6

Count on capitalists to find ways to satisfy increased demand. Tamiflu production capacity will be an order of magnitude greater in 2006 than it was in 2003.

"There's a shortage right now," said William M. Burns, head of Roche's pharmaceutical division. But he quickly added that the company plans to raise annual production capacity to 300 million courses of treatment by this time next year: a drastic increase from 55 million this year and more than 10 times the output capacity in 2003.

"This is a capacity significantly larger than the cumulative number of orders we have," Mr. Burns said.

If H5N1 avian flu does not mutate into a human pandemic strain the next year then anyone wanting to stockpile Tamiflu will have a much easier time doing so next summer.

But if you take the flu pandemic threat seriously then the best preparations that you can take in advance are measures that would decrease your odds of getting exposed to influenza in the first place. Stockpile high quality face masks. Take a job or adjust your job in ways that will allow you to reduce your exposure to other people. Save money ahead of time so that you can live off that money rather than go to an office every day that has lots of people in it.

The pandemic preparation option I'd most like to have that is technically possible but not now available: Get vaccinated against current H5N1 strains in order to build partial immunity against a pandemic strain.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2005 November 11 10:37 AM  Pandemic Prepare Drugs

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