According to the doctors – Oseltamivir is the drug of choice for those who have been infected with the symptoms of Swine Flu. As the H1N1 or Swine flu virus is widespread in India, the government has finally agreed for retail sale of Tamiflu, but under heavy restrictions. Until now, only at government dispensaries Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) was available. Now the drug will be available at chemists that are permitted to sell ‘Schedule X’ drugs. These can only be purchased on prescription from a registered medical practitioner. The pharmacy has to keep a record of the prescription, the name of the prescribing doctor, and the person to whom it is sold. The decision to open up sales of Tamiflu was taken on 14th September taking into account the official death toll of 212 and infection toll of 6,800 into consideration.
Schedule X applies to narcotics, and is very critical for monitoring supply and sale. Now out of approximately 600,000 chemists, just 300 chemists have a Schedule X licence in the country, which drug makers feel is far too little to be of any help. A total of 480 approved outlets across the country will be allowed to sell the one preparation that fights the virus. The companies that have the permission to manufacture the medicine are: Ranbaxy, Cipla, Metco, Hetero, Strides, and Roche. The government has spent Rs.70 crores in purchasing the medicine whose retail sale until now was banned. The ministry has a stock of 10 million tablets and is planning to stock 20 million more.
Not sure for the retail price of the medicine but a strip containing 10 tablets might cost around Rs 445.
Tamiflu will be sold in 500 outlets all over India. The medicine can be found with 30 retail outlets of Hetero Drugs in twin cities and its 60 retail outlets located in all over Andhra Pradesh.
Please check back for the list of pharmacies in Hyderabad, AP where the medication is available…