One of the Japanese drug companies may make anti-flu medicine to meet rising domestic demand

The Japanese subsidiary of Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche AG is considering producing the antiviral drug Tamiflu to meet rising domestic demand for the medicine, a company official said Friday.

The subsidiary, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., currently distributes Tamiflu which was developed by Roche and is believed to be effective in treating bird flu in humans but does not manufacture it in Japan .

Chugai spokesman Hiroshi Araki said the company is considering producing the drug because rising demand has depleted stocks.

"We want to ensure a stable and steady supply of the drug," Araki said.

He said the matter is still under study and Chugai has set no timetable for production.

Chugai plans to import 12 million doses of the drug this year, Araki said, reports the AP.


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