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Japan’s MHLW Asks Local Governments To Add Relenza To Flu Drug Stockpile

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will require prefecture governments to stockpile 10 percent Relenza (zanamivir) starting fiscal year 2009. The decision is based on a recent Yomiuri News survey that finds out of 47 local governments, 46 prefectures stock nothing but Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and only Tokyo has Relenza in stock. The ministry is concerned about recent Tamiflu-resistant cases and has ordered additional Relenza shipments. Japan has stockpiled Tamiflu for 280 million people, and will add 133 million doses. The country also has 1.35 million doses of Relenza in stock and plans to order an additional 1.33 million doses. Tokyo's prefecture government has decided to increase flu drug stockpiles to 8 million doses by 2010, and half will be Relenza. (Click here for more - Japanese language

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