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Monday, October 31, 2005 

While CDC silent on Tamiflu hoarding, IDSA speaks out

So, Tamiflu. People who had never heard of the drug last year now want to have their own personal stock, as it's the one drug that has been shown to be effective against H5N1. Last week, Tamiflu manufacturer Roche announced that it was suspending shipments of the drug to the U.S.,, in an effort to decrease hoarding and make sure that enough of the drug would be available for those who actually needed it during this year's flu season. And while the CDC has had little to say on the hoarding matter, other organizations have started to speak out.

(IDSA=Infectious Disease Society of America).
Dear Colleagues,

In response to requests for guidance from our members, policymakers, and the public, IDSA and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America have developed the following position statement on antiviral stockpiling for influenza preparedness.

We advocate a national stockpile with minimum treatment courses for at least 25 percent or ideally 40 percent of the U.S. population. We advocate health care institutional reserves to improve local access for treatment of affected populations, but not prophylaxis of health care workers given the current shortage of antiviral drugs. We discourage personal stockpiles. We want to remind the public that there are a number of other steps that individuals can take to protect themselves against seasonal or pandemic influenza, including cough etiquette, hand-washing, and annual influenza vaccination.

This policy statement will require continuous refinement as events change. We will continue to use IDSA’s website and e-mail alerts to keep our members apprised.

The Society owes a debt of gratitude to the members of the Pandemic Influenza Task Force, who drafted the statement: Kathleen Maletic Neuzil, MD, MPH, Chair; Kathryn M. Edwards, MD; David S. Fedson, MD; Frederick Hayden, MD; Edward N. Janoff, MD; Andrew T. Pavia, MD; and Gregory A. Poland, MD.


Martin J. Blaser, MD
IDSA President

(Emphasis mine). More info at the link.


About me

  • I'm Tara C. Smith
  • From Iowa, United States
  • I'm a mom and a scientist, your basic stressed-out, wanna-have-it-all-and-do-it-all Gen Xer. Recently transplanted from Ohio to Iowa, I've spent most of my life in the midwest (with 4 years of college spent out east in "soda" territory). My main interest, and the subject of my research, is infectious disease: how does the microbe cause illness? What makes one strain nasty, and another "avirulent?" Are the latter really not causing any disease, or could some of those be possible for the development of chronic disease years down the road? Additionally, I've spent a lot of time discussing the value of teaching evolution, and educating others about "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism. My interest in history of science and medicine is also useful as a way to tie all of the above interests together. [Disclaimer: the views here are solely my own, and do not represent my employer, my spouse, that guy who's always sitting by the fountain when I come into work, or anyone else with whom I may be remotely affiliated.]
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