News

Tamiflu purchase worth £49m will go ahead, government says

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g2761 (Published 15 April 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g2761
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

The government will push ahead with its plan to spend £49m (€60m; $80m) replacing stocks of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) that are due to expire, so as to maintain its stockpile of antivirals in case of a flu pandemic. It has made the decision even though the first complete systematic review of neuraminidase inhibitors by the Cochrane Collaboration last week questioned the drug’s effectiveness and warned that stockpiling it was a waste of money.1

Announcing its decision in Treasury minutes on Thursday 10 April, the government said that the exchange of stock had already started, to ensure the country was “ready for a more serious flu pandemic” with stocks of oseltamivir that have a seven year shelf life and were bought at “prices agreed in the current contract.”2

However, the government has agreed to “take account of the latest scientific evidence,” including the Cochrane Collaboration review, before making future decisions on …

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