HHS boosts Tamiflu access amid generic shortage

As demand for a popular flu drug increases during the worst flu season in more than a decade, HHS expanded access to Tamiflu on Dec. 21 through the Strategic National Stockpile. 

State stockpiles of Tamiflu were reserved for a future pandemic flu, but last week, HHS allowed flexibility to access the stockpiles "without affecting our nation's preparedness for a future pandemic flu," the agency said. 

The availability of Tamiflu and its generic, oseltamivir, has wavered in recent months. GoodRx data shows the drug's prescription fill rates may have hit a peak, while the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists listed 10 generic products on back order and allocation in early December. 

"Today we are taking action so that every jurisdiction can meet the increased demand for Tamiflu this flu season," HHS Secretary Xavier Beccera said in a statement. "State stockpiles can be utilized, and if jurisdictions need access to the Strategic National Stockpile, they now have it to respond to the current seasonal flu outbreak."

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