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Record sales of Tamiflu

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17:13 CET+01:00
Sales of anti-viral drug Tamifu have soared in October fueled by media hype of the dreaded bird flu, according to Apoteket, Sweden's state-run pharmacy.

More than 50,000 doses of Tamiflu were sold in October this year; equivalent to the total sales of the product during the past two years.

Per Erik Åbom, an infectious disease specialist from Jönköping told Sveriges Radio that there is a clear link between the sales of Tamifu and all the attention paid to bird flu.

“People have been by caught up with the threat of bird flu and have become ensnared by the widespread hysteria around it.” Åbom told SR

Tamiflu isn't a preventative medicine, but can alleviate flu symptoms. Per Erik Åbom told SR that he is perplexed that doctors are prescribing the medicine when there apparently isn't a medical motivation to do so.

The rush for Tamiflu may result in a lack of it should there be a real outbreak of a flu epidemic or even simply the normal flu season.

“A massive amount of medicine has been sold that is not actually of any use and when the flu season starts in a few months there's a genuine risk that people who truly need it won't be able to get it.” Said Per Erik Åbom

Apoteket, the state-run pharmacy, assures the public that they have an ample supply for future requirements.

“Our assessment for the time being is that we will be able to supply sufficient quantities of influenza medicines to meet the needs of the peak of the flu season this winter” said Thony Björk, head of communications for Apoteket AB.

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