Roche steps up preparedness level in response to WHO’s increase to pandemic alert phase 4
Roche today confirms that it is working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Governments around the world to make the oral antiviral medication Tamiflu available to patients in need following the increased reports of outbreaks of swine flu. The WHO and US CDC report Tamiflu is active against this new swine flu virus A(H1N1).
Roche believes that the world is better prepared than ever before for a possible outbreak of pandemic influenza and has, for the last five years, been working closely with Governments, Health Authorities and Corporations on Pandemic Preparedness.
William M. Burns, CEO Pharmaceuticals Division of Roche commented: “The WHO recommends to increase pandemic preparedness. Roche is supporting these activities and is working closely with WHO and Ggovernments to fight a potential influenza pandemic”.
To date, Roche has fulfilled Government pandemic orders amounting to 220 million treatment courses of Tamiflu. In addition, Roche donated 5 million packs of Tamiflu to WHO in 2006, consisting of a 2 million treatment course “Regional stockpile” and a 3 million treatment course “Rapid Response” stockpile. The regional stockpiles are held by the WHO at various locations around the world. The WHO “Rapid Response Stockpile” of 3 million treatment courses of Tamiflu is on 24 hour stand-by and will be deployed at the request of the WHO.
Roche continues to work with all stakeholders in the interest to best support governments. This means managing the supply chain from starting materials to inventories in countries. Given that WHO alerted to Phase IV of a pandemic, the collaboration with WHO and governments is Roche’s current priority.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and CNS. Roche is also the world leader in in-vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics and a pioneer in diabetes management. Roche’s personalised healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of patients.
In 2008, Roche had over 80’000 employees worldwide and invested almost 9 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.6 billion Swiss francs. Genentech, United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche has a majority stake in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information: www.roche.com.
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Notes to Editors
H1N1 swine-flu virus causing outbreak is a new virus, antigenically very different from the seasonal A[H1N1] virus
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