‘Shocking incompetence’: UK health officials threw away £74m of bird flu ‘wonder-drug’
UK’s Department of Health threw away £74m worth of Tamiflu, the antiviral drug, before its expiry date, due to unsafe storage procedures. In total the country has spent £600 million since 2006 on drugs to fight a flu pandemic that has not materialized.
The figures, revealed by the National Audit Office (NAO), demonstrate a “shocking example of incompetence“, according to Public Accounts committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge.
Prompted by several public panics over possible avian flu pandemics in the mid-2000s, the UK government decided to create a national stockpile of Tamiflu (produced by Swiss company Roche) and Relenza (made by London-based GSK) – two relatively new and supposedly revolutionary drugs that neutralized the flu virus.
Between 2006 and 2013 40 million units of Tamiflu alone were purchased. A quarter of those had to be written off.
TAP – No corruption of course. Margaret Hodge will never find any. That’s for sure.
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