UK response to H1N1 pandemic was highly satisfactory, independent review says

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 05 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3569
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    The United Kingdom’s response to the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, which cost £1.2bn (€1.5bn; $1.8bn), was highly satisfactory and good value for money, concludes an independent review. But any purchasing for future pandemics should allow greater flexibility, it adds.

    The review, by Deirdrie Hine, a former chief medical officer for Wales, says that preparations, including stockpiling drugs and plans to buy up to 132 million doses of vaccine, were “soundly based in terms of value for money, reflecting the inherently low cost of vaccination in relation to the value of lives saved.”

    Around £1bn was spent on pharmaceuticals, including antivirals, antibiotics, and vaccines. More than 30 million doses of vaccine are believed to be left over, as the swine flu pandemic virus proved far milder in its effects than expected.

    Dame Deirdrie said that lessons needed to be learnt …

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