The number of flu patients in Vietnam has been on a sharp rise, particularly in Hanoi and HCM City, which has resulted in a severe shortage of antiviral flu drug Tamiflu 75mg.
Flu cases in Vietnam on the rise
In Hanoi, Tamiflu 75mg prices have increased 4-5 fold from the regulated level of just VND45,000 per tablet (USD1.95).
At some drugstores in Hanoi’s Dong Da District, a Tamiflu tablet was sold at VND220,000, while many others have run out.
The Drug Administration of Vietnam has urged Central Pharmaceutical JSC No.2 to import Tamiflu 75mg to deal with to a rise in flu cases in localities nationwide, especially Hanoi and HCM City.
Tamiflu is the brand name of oseltamivir, an antiviral medication used to treat influenza A and influenza B. Hanoi-based National Hospital of Paediatrics reported that they only had enough Tamiflu for inpatients.
The administration also asked provincial and municipal health departments to proactively contact pharmacies and drug importers to procure and reserve enough Tamiflu to ensure treatment.
Importers were requested to work with suppliers of antiviral medicines containing oseltamivir which have been registered in Vietnam right after receiving orders from medical facilities.
In case, importers find sources for Tamiflu supply sources which, however, have not yet been licensed for being sold in the Vietnamese market, they need to submit procedures to management agencies for the licence.
According to the Ministry of Health, the country witnessed up to 408,907 flu patients nationwide in November this year, including 10 deaths. The patients mostly contract the strains of the A (H1N1, A/H3N2) and Influenza B flu virus.
To date, Vietnam has not yet seen any new flu mutation or drug-resistant strains.
Flu cases are expected to continue rising in the coming days due to the impacts of cold weather. Festivals after the Lunar New Year are also good conditions for the flu virus to spread.
Do Thien Hai from the National Hospital of Paediatrics said that flu patients often recover within a week. Tamiflu is also recommended for those suffering other complications or illness. It cannot be used commonly for all flu-infected patients.
When having symptoms of cough, fever, headache, tiredness, it is advisable to immediately seek medical attention for timely examination and treatment, Hai advised.
The Drug Administration of Vietnam has urged Central Pharmaceutical JSC No.2 to import antiviral flu drug Tamiflu 75mg to deal with to a rise in flu cases in localities throughout the country, especially Hanoi and HCM City.