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Tamiflu and Influenza

MEDIA RELEASE Date: 1 May 2009

Subject: People presenting to their local pharmacists with early symptoms of Influenza, may be counter prescribed Tamiflu from today 1 May until September 30th.

Tamiflu and Influenza

Tamiflu is a prescription medicine, which may be sold by pharmacists from 1 May to 30 September each year in order to treat seasonal influenza in a consumer of at least 12 years of age presenting in a pharmacy with early symptoms of influenza.

Note the restrictions
• by a pharmacist
• in the winter influenza months of May to September
• to a person 12 years or older
• presenting in person in a pharmacy
• with early symptoms of influenza
• for treatment only (i.e. not in advance of need, nor prevention).

It is not a pharmacist-only medicine; it is a prescription medicine with a special exemption in specified circumstances. If not used appropriately as a treatment medication, the risks of developing resistance to the prescribed medicine are raised.

Pharmacists have been trained specifically for prescribing this course of medication.

The Society recommends Pharmacists treat it as a counter-prescribed medicine and dispense it accordingly, following the consultation. The sale would then be recorded on the consultation record sheet and as a prescription in the dispensing computer.

Patients may see a sign on the pharmacist’s window with instructions to move to a segregated area of the pharmacy or alternatively use another entrance to other patients. Affected patients may also be asked to don a mask. There may also be signs up advising public to phone ahead for specific instructions.


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