From Armenia in brief: 15 infected with “swine flu” in Armenia; Tamiflu prices not to rise
by M. T.
Published: Friday November 20, 2009
Yerevan - The number of people infected with the H1N1 virus (swine flu) has reached 15 in Armenia. The Armenian health minister's assistant, Shushan Hunanyan, said there were eight patients in the Nork Infection Hospital, but six have already been discharged. Those discharged are considered healthy and not contagious.
To discuss the situation, the operative headquarter of the ministry is conducting a consultation every day with a stress on precautionary measures. The minister's assistant assures that the implemented measures are the same as the compulsory measures implemented regularly in this season, just more extensive. She states that there is no epidemic in Armenia; all that we should do is apply elementary rules of hygiene, the same as those necessary for avoiding the ordinary flu.
Director of the Armenian office of Roche pharmaceuticals, Bagrat Lalayan, has said that neither the presence of the H1N1 flu, nor the panic over access to Tamiflu will raise Tamiflu prices. There have been cases where some private drug stores have exploited the panic surrounding swine flu and sold Tamiflu for 20,000 drams. "The prime cost of Tamiflu is 18 EUR plus 20 percent of VAT in Armenia and 5 percent ‘extra payment' by distributors and drug stores. The maximal price of the medicine should be 16,000 drams," Mr. Lalayan said. Mr. Lalayan called on those who are sick not to self-treat and to buy Tamiflu only with a doctor's prescription; "Even in the case of an H1N1 flu epidemic in Armenia, about 30 thousand packages of Tamiflu will be enough to provide aid to all the sick."