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June 2004, Volume 34 Number 6 , p 30 - 30



© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(6)             June 2004             p 30 Pandemic on the horizon? [DRUG NEWS: INFLUENZA]

Amid warning signs of a looming influenza pandemic, health experts are calling for an international stockpile of vaccines and other antiviral drugs. If a flu pandemic were to develop, a drug stockpile would give health officials the resources they need to avert or slow an epidemic.

Experts from 40 countries attended a conference hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to review global readiness for a flu pandemic, which some described as “inevitable.” Currently, drug manufacturers in developed nations make only enough drugs to meet the estimated needs for a typical flu season, and many developing countries lack even this degree of protection.

On average, flu pandemics break out once every 27 1/2 years; the last one occurred in 1968. ...

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