Drugmakers report US shortages of flu vaccine, Tamiflu
(REUTERS) - This year's United States (US) flu season has created shortages of the Tamiflu treatment for children and of the most widely used flu vaccine, their manufacturers said.
Roche Holding AG told Reuters late on Wednesday that it had a shortage of the liquid form of Tamiflu, given to children who already have the flu to slow or stop symptoms. A spokeswoman for the US Food and Drug Administration confirmed that there have been supply interruptions in some locations.
Roche said it told wholesalers and distributors in recent weeks that temporary delays in shipments were imminent. In the meantime, pharmacists can make a substitute by dissolving Tamiflu capsules in a sweet liquid, according to Ms Tara Iannuccillo, spokesman for Roche's Genentech unit, which makes Tamiflu.
Sanofi SA, the largest flu vaccine provider in the US, said on Thursday it had sold out of four of the six different dosages of Fluzone seasonal flu vaccine due to unanticipated late-season demand. The vaccine is made in different sized vials and pre-filled syringes.