Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt awarded a two-year contract to Roche to provide Tamiflu to all the states and territories of the U.S. at a federally subsidized price. The value of the contract is almost $150 million.

“Our ultimate goal is to stockpile sufficient quantities of antiviral drugs to treat 25 percent of the U.S. population,” Secretary Leavitt says. “Helping the states develop their own medical stockpiles will facilitate quicker distribution of antiviral drugs in the event of a pandemic influenza outbreak.”

The up to 31 million antiviral courses that will be acquired through this contract are in addition to 44 million treatment courses the federal government has begun to purchase without state-funding contributions for future distribution to states.

In related news, Cardinal Health has signed agreements with Roche to manufacture and package Tamiflu to help meet current and future demand in Europe as well United States.

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