FLU: Doubts Don’t Slow New Drugs’ Selling Pace
The early onset of the flu in the United States and a blitzkrieg of advertising has propelled sales of the two prescription flu drugs, Glaxo Wellcome's Relenza and Roche Laboratories' Tamiflu, reports the AP/Hartford Courant. Relenza sold 51,000 prescriptions in the week ending Dec. 24, and Tamiflu was prescribed 45,000 times the same week. Despite the brisk sales, some doctors doubt the effectiveness of the new medicines, citing the need to start treatment within 48 hours after symptoms arise and a general uncertainty about whether the drug actually shortens the duration of the illness. The drug-makers are specifically targeting cities hard hit by the flu with advertising and are betting that they can "change the way patients and the medical profession approach the ailment" (1/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.