US seeks 81M courses of Tamiflu

The potential for an avian flu pandemic remains a major national story. President Bush today meets with pharma company representatives to discuss ways to increase production. Unconfirmed reports suggest the administration is making plans to raise the nation's stockpile of Tamiflu from 12 million doses to 81 million doses. Critics say the move comes too late as other countries have already placed major orders with Roche, the antiviral's manufacturer. According to some estimates, the company's production is spoken for through the end of 2006.

- see this report from The New York Times

PLUS: Slightly lost in all of the hubbub about a possible pandemic is the fact that the vaccine intended to stop the bird flu is an experimental drug. Pharma companies reportedly want assurances from Washington that they will not be held liable for any unforeseen reactions. Article