Doctors prescribe Tamiflu only for those who have contracted influenza
The usual seasonal flu period is about to start in Europe. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health requests physicians to prescribe the medicine Tamiflu only for those patients who have come down with influenza. Doctors can prescribe Tamiflu also for prevention of influenza if they consider it necessary due to cases of this illness in a patient’s immediate circle of family and friends. This medicine is effective only when the treatment is begun within 48 hours from the emergence of symptoms.
Since the availability of the medicine is limited the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health urges physicians to avoid prescribing Tamiflu when it is probable that the client would store the medicine for ‘future use’. The Ministry has sent the chief physicians of the hospital districts and municipal health centres instructions for prescription of Tamiflu.
The National Agency for Medicines will issue the pharmacies a regulation according to which they shall not dispense the Tamiflu prescriptions written in 2005 to customers. In this way the authorities ensure that the patients who contract common influenza obtain the medicines they are in need of.
For further information you can contact: at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health: Merja Saarinen, Ministerial Counsellor, HealthAffairs, tel. (09) 160 74030; National Agency for Medicines: Eija Pelkonen, Head of Inspectorate, tel. (09) 47334210; National Public Health Institute: Professor Petri Ruutu, tel. (09) 4744 8670.