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Swine Flu: Drugs

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he plans to take to maintain adequate levels of manufacturing capacity in the UK for generic (a) antibiotics and (b) anti-viral drugs; (290720)

(2) which suppliers of anti-viral drugs for the treatment of swine influenza manufacture such drugs in the UK.

The United Kingdom has stockpiled both Relenza, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and Tamiflu, manufactured by Roche. Neither product is manufactured in the UK. Based on scientific advice from the British Thoracic Society, the Government have stockpiled 15.3 million treatment courses of antibiotics as part of their pandemic response.

In addition, the Office for the Life Sciences, working with relevant Whitehall departments including the Department of Health has recently published a Life Sciences Blueprint. This sets out the Government’s commitments on a range of issues which we and industry have identified as being most important to make the UK attractive to the life sciences industries (including the pharmaceutical industry) including manufacturing.