Apr 17, 2014 – Stockpile

April 17, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: SHOULD YOU HAVE YOUR OWN STASH OF TAMIFLU? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

uld you keep a supply of antiviral medication around against the day when a pandemic flu emerges? Especially in light of a recent study demonstrating a survival benefit in people hospitalized with severe flu, it may be tempting. But Andrea Dugas, a flu expert at Johns Hopkins, says other factors need consideration.

DUGAS: I think that a lot of this use of Tamiflu was based on this challenge of diagnosis. My hope is is that if we can integrate these more rapid diagnostic tests we can do a better job of determining who has influenza and then appropriately distributing those antivirals. Stockpiling them doesn’t necessarily make sense, they have an expiration date and we really as a society would like to use these medications to treat the people who are going to benefit the most from them, the sickest of the sick. :27

The concern is also that inappropriate use of these drugs may lead to resistant flu viruses. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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