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Bird Flu - Archives

 
Taiwan
 

Tamiflu Update

Indonesia will start manufacturing Tamiflu in three to five months. Roche, which has production rights for the drug, and Gilead Sciences, which developed it, do not hold an Indonesian patent. It is likely that manufacture will be carried out by two state-owned drugs companies, PT Kimia Farma and PT Indofarma, using raw materials sourced from China, India and South Korea.

 

The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office is likely to authorize local production of Tamiflu, in violation of the rights of Roche and Gilead.

 

Roche chief executive Franz B. Humer has told the New York Times that it will announce in early December which companies will be allowed to start their own Tamiflu production.

November 28th, 2005

 

Success! – Koreans Make Tamiflu; Taiwanese Find New Shikimic Acid Source

Korean news sources are reporting that a local firm, Hanmi Pharmaceutical, has succeeded in producing its own version of Tamiflu. Earlier, 16 Korean drugs companies had responded to a call from the Korean Food and Drug Administration to produce generic Tamiflu samples by December 5th. So far, Hanmi is the only company to have reported success, and it is now in negotiation with Roche about obtaining a licence to begin full production.

 

The Bangkok Post is reporting that Taiwanese scientists have succeeded in extracting shikimic acid – the base material of Tamiflu – from three local plants. Until now, the main natural source of the acid has been the star anise plant, and this is in increasingly short supply, due to soaring demand from Tamiflu’s manufacturer Roche.

November 22nd 2005

 

News Round-Up (Most of It Bad)

The Thai government has confirmed its first bird flu fatality in a year. It is the country’s 13th bird flu death. The official WHO announcement is here.

 

In Australia, three pigeons – part of a shipment of 102 racing and show pigeons from Canada – were found to have bird flu antibodies. Canadian quarantine authorities had reportedly certified the infected birds as disease-free.

 

Taiwan has reportedly discovered H5N1-infected birds that were being smuggled in from China.

 

A lengthy report in the Washington Post says Indonesia has been engaged in a two-year cover-up of its growing bird flu problem.

 

The Economist has an excellent report on the global fight against the virus.

October 21st, 2005

 

Generic Tamiflu

The Taiwanese Department of Health has written to Roche requesting negotiations on the generic production of Tamiflu. Meanwhile, Thailand is apparently going ahead with its own production, without consulting Roche.

October 18th, 2005

 

Tamiflu Generic Production Urged

Roche Holdings is reportedly under pressure to allow production of generic versions of its anti-flu drug Tamiflu. The reports say the company believes the drug is so complex that generic maker would struggle to produce significant quantities. This is contradicted by Taiwanese authorities, who believe they could begin manufacture within months of receiving permission.

October 12th, 2005