There are enough stockpiles of flu medicines in the EU
Adelina Marini, 1 May 2009
There are enough stockpiles of anti flu vaccines and other anti flu medicines. This came out after the meeting of the health commissioner Androulla Vassiliou with the European vaccine manufacturers. She said this after the extraordinary session of the EU health ministers in Luxembourg. She added that she cannot guarantee that the stockpiles would be sufficient if there's an outbreak of the novel virus (swine flu).
The Czech presidency quoted data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that the EU is most prepared for such an outbreak. The Czech minister of health Daniela Filipiova recommended though, that member states should implement their Pandemic plans and should ensure they have enough stockpiles of anti flu medicines.
Androulla Vassiliou also said that the pandemic in Europe is highly probable but she underlined that this didn't necessarily mean death around the world because even in Mexico infected people reacted pretty well to the available medicines and vaccines.
The Commission still doesn't have reliable data of how many European citizens have traveled to Mexico and the US recently. But she quoted a member stated, without giving its name, that still has 5,000 citizens in Mexico. The Czech health minister Filipiova added that it is a duty of member states to keep count of their citizens' location.
Androulla Vassiliou criticised, in response to numerous questions, the pharmaceutical company La Roche which did not take part in the meeting with the health commissioner but the company requested a participation via phone. According to Mrs. Vassiliou no company shouldn't be tolerated in such a way.