Supervisors Approve Antiviral Drug Stockpile
Riverside County supervisors on Tuesday voted to buy about 7,500 courses of the antiviral drug Tamiflu to treat county rescue workers in the event of an avian flu pandemic, the Los Angeles Times reports. The drugs will cost about $500,000.
The county stockpile will be used primarily for health care workers and first responders. The general population would receive drugs distributed from planned state and federal stockpiles.
Local officials in Riverside and other California counties are stockpiling drugs because of concerns that state and federal resources would not be distributed fast enough if a pandemic occurs.
Orange County officials are determining how much of the antiviral drug they should purchase if supervisors approve the plan, according to Donna Fleming, division manager for disease control and epidemiology at the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Officials said the initial purchase likely will be about 3,000 doses for health and rescue workers. The Orange County Board of Supervisors could consider the plan as early as July (Cho, Los Angeles Times, 5/24).