Supply Plan of the Anti-Influenza Drug Tamiflu for the 2007-2008 Season
November 5, 2007 - Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. [Head Office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President Osamu Nagayama (hereafter, Chugai)] announced today that a supply plan of the anti-influenza drug "TamifluÂ® Capsule 75" and "TamifluÂ® Dry Syrup 3%" (generic name: oseltamivir phosphate, hereafter, "TamifluÂ®") for the 2007-2008 season (hereafter, this season) for Japan has been prepared.
Although the epidemic of influenza in the 2006-2007 season started later than in the previous years, it was the third biggest outbreak since 2000.
In February 2007, several teenage patients with influenza who were also taking Tamiflu had fallen from the buildings after taking the drug. While no causal association between Tamiflu and these events has been determined, as a precautionary measure the MHLW issued safety information on March 20 to restrict the use of drug in teenage patients. Chugai and its partner Roche are currently undertaking additional studies to investigate such events.
As a result of this situation, the prescription trend of TamifluÂ® changed substantially in not only teenage patients who account for approximately 20%* of the total patients diagnosed as influenza, but also patients in other generations. Consequently, it was estimated that the number of prescribed patients has been reduced by almost half compared with the previous years.
With respect to the reduction in the estimated prescription rate, for this season, Chugai will ensure the drug supply for 6 million treatment courses, which is half of the12 million treatment courses prepared in previous years to cover the maximum scale of epidemic.
Chugai also plans to develop an additional supply plan in case demand exceeds the expectation.
Chugai is continuously committed to maintain stable drug supply by developing the above mentioned supply plan in order to be prepared for influenza epidemic for this season.
* The percentage was calculated based on the number of reports by age category that was featured in the fixed-point report of influenza patients.