liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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More H5N1 Flu News: Roche Goes Generic and Science Links

found via Americablog:

I'm the first to yell when big anything steps on the little guy, so it's only fair that I show some love with a Big Pharma company does the right thing.

According to AP, Roche Pharmaceuticals is in talks with four generics manufacturers (and possibly more companies in the comming weeks) to increase production of Tamiflu and break the bottleneck on availability.

If this is pulled off, yes, Roche will be compensated and yes, it's good PR. However, the company doesn't have to do it. The fact the company is doing it before the need for something like Tamiflu becomes critical deserves applause.

As midnightsjane pointed out in comments to my post about Preparing for H5N1, anti-virals like Tamiflu and Relenza have one thing in common with antibiotics: improper use or overuse can result in resistant viruses. Like bacteria (and all living things, really), viruses can evolve and adapt to new conditions. The Tamiflu Package Insert for the U.S. has more information on actual and potential drug resistance to Tamiflu. There's already been one report of H5N1 resistance to Tamiflu, although the virus did show vulnerability to Relenza,

So while anti-virals are good, treat them like you're hunting a were-rabbit and have only three golden bullets.

Some additional links:

caille offered Bird Flu Facts and Fiction from Acid Test. An excellent read.

While not H5N1-specific, this Aetiology strikes me as an awesome blog about the science of infectious disease, assuming you're into the science of infectious disease. Obviously H5N1 has a big chunk of real estate, but today's top story is about the measels vaccine. If you're looking for commonsense discusion, check it out. Frankly, it's a geek-out blog for me.

The Daily Kos has been all over the avain flu. Don't let the fact that it's a political blog allow you to dismiss it. They've been doing some good coverage.

Here's a great primer on how viruses work and evolve, with special loving attention given to influenza viruses and our friend, the Type A virus, which is H5N1's type. This entry is just posted today.

DemFromCT, a regular over on FluWiki, has a couple of articles up on preparedness, here and here. His diaries are rife with links to other sources, resources, and news articles.

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