Pharmaceutical giants in Stevenage gives antivirals to all staff

PHARMACEUTICAL giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which has a base in Stevenage, has issued all its UK employees and their families with the antiviral drug to swine flu in case of need . Tamiflu has been given to workers as a precautionary measure to fight th

PHARMACEUTICAL giants GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), which has a base in Stevenage, has issued all its UK employees and their families with the antiviral drug to swine flu "in case of need".

Tamiflu has been given to workers as a precautionary measure to fight the H1N1 virus.

A spokesman for the company said: "GSK has invoked its own internal pandemic preparedness plan, to ensure continuity of supply of all its critical medicines and vaccines."

At the end of May, GSK started production of a swine flu vaccine and has so far received orders for 195 million doses.


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First supplies will be available from September.

It also expects to increase annual production of Relenza - which can both treat and help prevent flu - from 60 million to 190 million by the end of the year.

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THE Government has announced that one in eight people will be off work with swine flu by September, but Comet country businesses appear to be faring well so far.

According to town centre managers across the region, local businesses have been largely unaffected by the swine flu pandemic.

Martin Fletcher, Letchworth GC's town centre manager, said: "Touch wood, it doesn't seem to have struck in any major way here."

SINCE the National Pandemic Flu Service launched last Thursday, more than 2,000 flu friends have picked up medication from Hertfordshire's antiviral collection points (ACPs).

They are located at Campus West in Welwyn Garden City and Watford Town Hall, and are open from 9am to 9.30pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm at weekends.

An ACP at Castle Hall in Hertford opened for the first time today (Thursday) and will open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

If you have flu-like symptoms, call 0800 1 513 100 (between 8am and midnight) or visit www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu

Do not send a flu friend to an ACP unless you have been confirmed as having swine flu - Tamiflu will not be issued without an authorisation number.

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