State To Build Avian Flu Treatment Stockpile
California will purchase more than 3.7 million doses of the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza to treat avian influenza in the event of a pandemic, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The federal government will pay 25% of the cost of the drugs and the state will be responsible for the remaining 75%. The fiscal year 2006-2007 state budget includes $53.3 million for the state's antiviral drug stockpile.
California officials will order the treatments by Aug. 1, the deadline for states to report to the federal government how many doses of the drugs they plan to buy. By December 2008, the state and federal governments should have enough medication to treat a quarter of the nation's population during a flu pandemic, health officials said (Geron, Sacramento Bee, 7/11).