Quebec: $50 Million Allocated For Pandemic Medications

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One of the great advantages we have with the Internet Flu forums is that we have people of all nationalities, and fluent in all languages, scanning the news for pandemic information.

Today we have a translation of a French language newspaper report out of Quebec, courtesy of Muscade - ?diteur et Directeur de Francophones des FluTrackers - Editor of the French section of Flutrackers - and posted by Florida1.

The entire machine translation can be found here, on Flutrackers. The article links below take you to the original French text.

But here is the gist of it. Quebec has plans to spend $50 Million dollars over the next year or two to stockpile antibiotics for use against secondary bacterial infections during a pandemic.

As you may remember, there have been several recent studies indicating that secondary bacterial infections played a major role in the high fatality rates during the 1918 pandemic.

You can read more about that here, and here.

This report from Le Soleil.

$ 50 million against bird flu

Jean-Fran?ois Cliche
Le Soleil

On Monday, 11 August 2008

In addition to reserves of Tamiflu vaccines already formed, the Quebec government is preparing to invest an additional $ 50 million in its preparations against a possible pandemic of avian influenza, told The Sun.

These are used to stockpile antibiotics to combat the "secondary infections, such as pneumonia, which often accompany the influenza virus.

A year ago, the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) has assembled a team of experts to draw up a list of drugs - other than vaccines - which could be scarce during a pandemic influenza.

"And here it is a step to establish a reserve of drugs that have been identified. Purchases must begin in the fall and we will have a gradual build-up of the reserve, "said Dominic Belanger, a pharmacist DHSS who sits on the committee preparing for a possible pandemic.

"It's an exercise that is not easy, he says, because the threat is not clearly defined contours. The virus, we do not know well, there is not yet (in a form that is transmitted from one human to another).

"Additionally, several different types of antibiotics should be stored," because We do not know in advance what bacteria or viruses will be opportunistic. "

According to Pierre Laflamme, coordinator of the Committee for the DHSS on the pandemic, purchases spread over "12 to 18 months and will involve expenditures" on the order of $ 50 million. It was also considered the lifetime of drugs and signed agreements to make sure that always have enough, "he adds.

This is made all the more necessary to reduce the cost of their operations, hospitals manage their reserves of medicines on the model "just in time" - ie they keep inventories relatively low and deliver what they need "just in time".

Moreover, said Robert Day, professor of pharmacology at the University of Sherbrooke who works precisely on a drug against avian influenza (see other text) the flu vaccine available at this time, Tamiflu, "is useful, but has its limits. (?)

We should give very early in the viral infection, within 48 hours or within the first few days.

Afterwards, the amount of virus replication and become very difficult to stop. "

But those who catch the flu must often fight with other invaders, then called "secondary infections", taking advantage of the momentary weakness of the immune system to attack, causing pneumonia, for example, says Day.

(Continue . . .)
posted by FLA_MEDIC @ 12:45 PM