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Stone calls for over the counter sales of Tamiflu

28th April 2009

Highland MSP Jamie Stone has called on the Scottish Government to investigate making the anti viral drug Tamiflu available over-the-counter to help prevent the spread of Mexican swine flu.

From this Friday New Zealanders with flu symptoms will be able to buy the drug over-the-counter in pharmacies in a move designed to prevent the annual spread of flu that coincides with their winter.

Speaking today Mr Stone said

"Given that a swine flu vaccine is unlikely to be ready for 4 to 6 months, I think it is worth the Scottish Government looking at New Zealand's approach of making Tamifu available over the counter after a consultation with qualified pharmacists to try and stop the spread of flu."

"In addition to helping prevent flu, it could also potentially stop the mad rush for online sales of Tamiflu that are illegal, often very expensive and potentially dangerous to some individuals."

"With the threat of a pandemic increasing by the day I believe the NZ approach is worth some investigation."

Jamie has submitted the following PQ's

To ask the Scottish Government whether it is aware of the New Zealand Government decision to make Tamiflu available over the counter in chemists to those exhibiting flu symptoms, and if it has considered taking similar measures to prevent the spread of swine flu?

To ask the Scottish Government how many does of Tamiflu it has stockpiled?

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