A research group from the Hanoi University of Pharmacy has said that they would produce an antiviral drug developed by Russia specifically for swine flu and avian flu next year.

Fludon H1, or Arbidol, which has been licensed for manufacture and distribution in many countries, will offer treatment for influenza A (H1N1) virus and H5N1 virus with the same efficiency as Tamiflu and Zanamivir drugs, said Nguyen Hai Nam, who leads the research team.

However, the Vietnamese alternative will be four to five times cheaper than the common Tamiflu, Nam said.

Meawhile, Truong Quoc Cuong, head of the health ministry’s Drug Administration of Vietnam, on Sunday said they had ordered one million 30g doses of Tamiflu for children.

Latest statistics at the Central Hospital of Tropical Diseases showed that children account for three percent of swine flu patients, but antiviral drugs for pediatric patients were not yet available, Cuong said.

Doctors, therefore, have to break the adults’ 75mg dosage of Tamiflu to treat children, he added.

The agency has also placed orders for 10,000 boxes of Relenza (Zanamivir) as an alternative for H1N1-positive patients whose bodies are resistant to or slow to respond to Tamiflu, Cuong said.

He said studies showed patients with this resistance account for six percent of the total, but there was no other drug than Tamiflu available in Vietnam at present.

Since the epidemic was first detected here in May, it has killed 44 people nationwide. A 59-year-old man with mental disorders in the northern province of Quang Ninh was the latest victim, the health ministry said Sunday.

Source: thanhnien