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DHBs make their own decisions about Tamiflu

Media Release

23 March 2006

DHBs make their own decisions about building Tamiflu supplies.

District Health Boards were not directed to stockpile antiviral medication in preparation for a flu pandemic, said Public Health Chief Advisor Ashley Bloomfield.

"The Ministry of Health did not tell District Health Boards to stockpile Tamiflu. The suggestion was made that DHBs may want to consider building their own supplies so they could decide at a local level how best to use some antiviral medication for their situation. This was a decision for each DHB to make in their planning. "

The government has stockpiled some 855,000 doses of Tamiflu, enough to treat 21 percent of the population.

"Over 99 per cent of the public supply is held by central government. This supply will be available to be used throughout New Zealand. No region or person will be disadvantaged."

Dr Bloomfield said the DHBs deserve recognition for the large amount of work they have put into preparing for their communities for a possible flu pandemic and this is continuing.

ENDS

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