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Resistance to Tamiflu - 'to be expected' says Roche

Resistance to the swine flu drug in line with clinical trials

OnMedica Staff

Tuesday, 08 September 2009

The manufacturer of Tamiflu has confirmed that isolated cases of resistance to the drug are "likely to occur".

A Roche Holding AG executive, yesterday said that resistance to the drug in the treatment of pandemic H1N1 Swine flu, was in line with what had been seen in clinical trials.

Roche says signs of resistance to Tamiflu are no surprise, given this happens also in seasonal flu. The drug netted sales of just over 1 billion Swiss francs ($946 million) in the first half of the year and Roche confirmed it expects similar in the second six months of 2009.

"Isolated cases of Tamiflu-resistant pandemic H1N1 2009 are expected in line with observations from the low frequency seen in clinical studies," David Reddy, Roche pandemic task force leader, told a media conference.

The pandemic H1N1 flu virus continues to cause widespread infection in many parts of the world but is not becoming more serious, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

Confirmed global deaths from swine flu stand at 2,944. According to the Health Protection Agency, the figure for England is 61 (this figure represents the number of deaths in individuals with swine flu but does not represent the number of deaths that can be attributed to swine flu).

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