U.K. parties say Tamiflu order is late

Oct. 15, 2005 at 2:02 PM

LONDON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- British Conservatives and Liberal Democrats say the the Labor government might be too late in ordering drugs to fight bird flu.

The U.K. Department of Health has said that the 14.6 million doses of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu would not be available until late next year, the Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

"The government has done too little too late to protect the health of the population -- in June 2004 I told the government to produce a comprehensive strategy," said Andrew Lansley, the shadow health secretary.

"It is unacceptable that out of the most developed countries, Britain was one of the last to order anti-viral agents and publish an emergency preparedness plan."

"We are acquiring every single month 800,000 courses of Tamiflu and within a year our stockpile will be complete so that we have got the quantity of drug that we believe is appropriate," said Dr. David Salisbury, the head of the immunization program at the Department of Health.

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