Making a Killing: Pharmaceuticals 911
Sales of Tamiflu and other antiviral drugs, hand sanitizers, anti-bacterial soap and protective masks and gloves are shooting up
Tamiflu is one of the antiviral drugs used against the A(H1N1) virus [swine flu.] “Rare but serious skin reactions and allergic reactions have been reported. Stop taking TAMIFLU and call your doctor if you experience any of these reactions, as they could be very serious. People with the flu, particularly children and adolescents, may be at an increased risk of self injury and confusion shortly after taking TAMIFLU and should be closely monitored for signs of unusal behavior. A healthcare professional should be contacted immediately if the patient taking TAMIFLU shows any signs of unusual behavior. The most common side effects of TAMIFLU are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting.” Caption: Tamiflu.com. Image: AFP. May be subject to copyright.
- A box of Tamiflu (ten 75-milligram capsules) is about $115 in the U.S.
- A dose of Relenza usually costs about $100 at the pharmacies. [Relenza is packaged in medicine disks and is inhaled by mouth using a delivery device, manufacturer said.]
- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the United States would purchase 13 million more courses of flu medicine.
- The U.S. government has stockpiled about 50 million courses of antiviral drugs and state stockpiles across the country include an additional 23 million courses.
- The Indian government is buying 10 million Tamiflu tablets and 10 million N-95 face masks, the Hindi daily Hindustan reported.
- Johnson & Johnson, makers of the popular hand sanitizer Purell, are ramping up production to meet increased demand.
- Kellogg Co, the world’s largest cereal maker, said it has received some large orders from Mexican retailers that are stockpiling to meet increased demand as consumers begin hoarding food, Reuters reported.
- As the demand for protective masks skyrockets, 3M is counting its windfall. “We have seen an increase in demand and we have increased production,” a company spokeswoman said. “We have added additional shifts in our facilities.”
Relenza Inhaler and medicine disk. “In studies, the most common side effects with RELENZA have been headaches; diarrhea; nausea; vomiting; nasal irritation; bronchitis; cough; sinusitis; ear, nose, and throat infections; and dizziness. Other side effects that have been reported, but were not as common, include rashes and allergic reactions, some of which were severe.” Image and caption: Relenza.com. May be subject to copyright.