Updated April 9th, 2023 at 08:45 IST
Hong Kong to face shortage of Tamiflu drug for children, ‘to persist until June’
Swedish company Roche, which manufactures the produces solution form of Tamiflu, confirmed the shortage of the medicine in a statement.
Hong Kong is facing a shortage of the Swiss medicine Tamiflu which is administered to Kids with the flu. The dearth of medicine is expected to persist until June. There has been a sudden unexpected surge in demand for medicine at pharmacies following the removal of the COVID-19 mask mandate in the country.
Swedish company Roche, which manufactures the produces solution form of Tamiflu, confirmed the shortage of the medicine in a statement. The doctors in Hong Kong have raised alarm over the drug shortage. Paediatricians in the city are warning that the kids might suffer from chronic illnesses and serious complications in the respiratory system if the medicine is unavailable. Children are at risk of COVID-19 and Influenza A at the same time, as per Hong Kong doctors.
“We are taking all practicable steps to address the out-of-stock issue soon,” the pharma company was reported as saying by agencies.
Doctors unsure of the peak of flu season
According to reports, doctors are unsure about when exactly would be the peak of the flu season. But a drugmaker pledged to boost the supply of the vaccines by late April to make up for the medicines shortage. Physicians, hospitals and clinics have said that there may be a need for an additional supply as the drug won't be on the shelves for another week. The cold and flu cases are continuing to rise across Hong Kong as one hospital admitted an estimated 218 patients. Of these, nearly 142 cases were fatal. The instances of flu infections were spiking at the hospitals in Hong Kong.
The cases were hiking at a rate of four out of every 1,000 elderly being admitted to a hospital in January versus now at least two out of 1,000 needing medical intervention. As per reports, William Chui Chui-ming, president of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Hong Kong, has confirmed that the Tamiflu shortage was global and not just in Hong Kong. The drug is also prescribed to elderly patients experiencing difficulty in eating and swallowing. Currently, Hong Kong has a stock of 11 million doses of antiviral drugs. Of these, 90 per cent is oseltamivir, known as the Tamiflu.
Published April 9th, 2023 at 08:45 IST