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Swiss pharma company Roche said today it has temporarily suspended shipments of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu to wholesalers and other private recipients in the U.S. to make sure enough treatments will be available to treat conventional cases of the flu this winter.
Roche said companies have been creating their own stockpiles for use by their employees in the event of a pandemic caused by avian flu.
"At the present time we do not have an avian influenza pandemic in the United States," George Abercrombie, president of the Roche's American subsidiary, said in a statement yesterday. "However, we need to make sure that people exposed to this year's seasonal flu virus will have access to Tamiflu."
Roche said it would resume shipments of the drug when more flu cases occur this winter.