Date Published: 1 May 2009
AMA urges careful use of anti-viral medicines
The AMA is urging Australians not to stockpile antiviral medicines.
AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said it was understandable that people would seek to be prepared, but it was essential that distribution be done properly.
“This is a time for Australians to stick together as a community and consider our fellow Australians who are in greatest need,” Dr Capolingua said.
“In the event that Australians do become sick with this virus, it will be essential that anti viral medications are available for those who are immediately exposed or suffering symptoms.
Having Tamiflu or Relenza in your cupboard when you do not need it may mean that it is not available to someone who does.
It is in everyone’s best interests to follow the advice of the health authorities and to ensure sufficient supplies are available if and when they are required.
Doctors have been advised that, in consultation with local public health units, the current recommendation for the prescription of Tamiflu and Relenza is as follows:
* close contacts of confirmed or probable cases within 48 hours of contact
* suspected cases if started within 48 hours of onset of symptoms, until influenza A is excluded or an alternative diagnosis is made
* there is no current recommendation for Tamiflu or Relenza to be used prophylactically by travellers visiting affected countries, apart from Mexico
The AMA joins with Government in urging Australians to keep calm and not seek to stockpile.”