Fears Trigger Rush on Liquid Tamiflu for Kids

Sporadic shortages reported around the country
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2009 6:06 PM CDT
The antiviral drug Tamiflu.   (AP Photo/Michael Probst/file)
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(Newser) – Parents are scrambling in parts of the country to find liquid Tamiflu for their kids. It's selling out so quickly in drug stores that federal officials have given pharmacists a back-up plan: They can mix syrup with the powdery adult capsules—the precise ratio is determined by a child's weight—and sell that. There's plenty of the adult version of the drug to go around, federal officials tell the Washington Post.

"For the most part, patients are getting treated," says a CDC official. "There have been shortages in sporadic spots, but generally it's still available." The agency has shipped hundreds of thousands of courses of the drug to states from an emergency stockpile to ease the crunch. The manufacturer, Roche, says it consulted with US and world officials and cut back on the liquid version to ramp up production of the adult capsules when swine flu cases began to rise.