Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Influenza

NHS to cover expense of flu prophylaxis and treatment this winter

Community pharmacists, GPs and other prescribers in primary healthcare may now give some patients antiviral treatment for influenza at the expense of the NHS.

But pharmacists have been requested to order antivirals only as needed and not to overstock, to reduce the likelihood of shortages in the supply chain.

The NHS will cover the expense of supplying the antivirals oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) to patients in clinical at‐risk groups, and also to those at risk of severe illness and/or complications if their influenza is not treated.

Hospital clinicians should prescribe antiviral medicines for patients whose illness is confirmed or clinically suspected to be due to influenza, the letter adds. Public Health England guidance on the use of antivirals for seasonal influenza is signposted to in the document.

The decision, communicated via the NHS Central Alerting System in a letter signed by Sally Davies and Keith Ridge, England’s chief medical officer and chief pharmaceutical officer respectively, has been made in response to surveillance data indicating rising levels of influenza in the community.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20204168

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Antibodies bind to the influenza virus

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.