Positive Environment News

Over 25 Governments Place Tamiflu Orders – Roche

Date: 21-Jul-05

Roche pharmaceuticals chief executive Bill Burns told reporters on Wednesday that the firm had received orders from at least 25 countries which are following the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in stockpiling the drug.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Swiss drugmaker posted a 22 percent rise in drugs sales for the first six months of the year, helped by strong demand for Tamiflu.

Burns confirmed that Roche was still in talks with Germany and also with the US government about increasing stocks of the drug.

"We are in late-stage discussions with the German states," Burns said.

"We are also in late-stage discussions with the United States. Certain orders have been placed," he said, but added they were only a step towards the WHO recommendation to stock enough of the drug to treat between 20 and 25 percent of a nation's population.

Earlier this year, Roche said it expected 750 million Swiss francs ($577.8 million) in Tamiflu sales in 2005.

Burn said he hoped that Roche could reach a satisfactory conclusion with the management of Gilead Science, which has launched a claim to regain the rights to Tamiflu on the grounds that Roche failed to market it properly.

Gilead discovered the drug. Roche rejects the claims.

On Tuesday Roche said it had applied for regulatory approval in the European Union for Tamiflu to be used in children aged between one and 12 years.

Tamiflu is already approved for use in adults and teenagers.

© Thomson Reuters 2005 All rights reserved

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