Roche (Basel, Switzerland, www.roche.com) has put a temporary halt on distribution of the influenza vaccine "Tamiflu" to the United Sates in an effort to deter companies from stockpiling the vaccine for employee use, according to an article in the Oct. 27 edition of The New York Times.
According to the report, the hoarding is a reaction to the recent avian flu pandemic, which has killed more than 60 people in Asia, but has not threatened the United States. Roche representatives stated that there are currently sufficient allotments of the vaccine in the United States and additional quantities will be released as the need arises. However, wholesalers were advised to limit the amount of drug distributed to pharmacies to “preserve their inventory until the beginning of flu season.”
Roche has also suspended shipments to Canada and limited supplies to Germany and Switzerland, according to The Times.