Tamiflu drug price disorder

HanoiThe unusual outbreak of influenza A caused the flu drug Tamiflu to be pushed up in price, while doctors warned that casually taking this product could be life-threatening.

On July 27, Mr. Lam, 39 years old, in Cau Giay district looked to buy Tamiflu medicine to reserve, to prevent his two young children from contracting influenza A, when Hanoi was entering the peak of the epidemic. Listening to his colleagues’ advice, he joined drug trading groups on social networks to find out. Most sellers claim that the medicine is genuine, only need to take it for two days, the symptoms will be gone, “if you don’t buy it, it’s gone because the goods are very scarce”.

Before that, he looked to buy it at a pharmacy, hoping for a more affordable price, but there was no stock. For peace of mind, he “clicked his tongue” to buy it at twice the price, as long as there was medicine in the house. However, the pack he bought did not come with an invoice or an extra label.

“A pack of 10 tablets, some places sell 950,000 VND, some places more than 1,000,000 VND a pack, the price is crazy like when I bought a Covid test, which makes me very confused,” Lam said and said before that the price was only from 400,000 to 450,000. copper a blister.

Also looking to buy Tamiflu, Ms. Trang in Dong Anh paid more than two million dong for two packs of pills bought at a store in Tay Ho district, because the nearby pharmacies were out of stock. She said that this year, influenza A broke out out of season, and her parents unfortunately contracted the disease from her grandchildren.

“The price of medicine is one-third of a month’s salary, but I still try to go nearly ten kilometers to find and buy it for fear that my parents will have pneumonia complications and have to be hospitalized,” Trang said.

Mr. Lam said that Tamiflu was exorbitantly expensive but had to be bought to prevent it, saying this was the common psychology of families with small children. Image: Characters provided

According to the survey of VnExpress, many sites specializing in wholesale and retail sales, hand-carried goods or resident groups… for sale Tamiflu, the average price is from one million to one and a half million a blister. In some drugstores, product prices are also doubled.

A shopkeeper in Cau Giay said that for more than a week now, there is not enough medicine to sell, import goods not in time, even dare not take much because the import price is “exorbitant”. She said that influenza A usually occurs in the winter and spring, at this time, new stores import a lot of products. This year, the epidemic has been abnormal, the price of the drug, which was only 400,000 VND a blister, is now up to a million VND, changing every day.

Similarly, at another pharmacy in Dong Da, the salesman said: “Yesterday the price of the medicine was 850,000 VND/box, but today it has increased to 950,000 VND, and may continue to increase, even if there are no goods for sale.” . Meanwhile, the price of Tamiflu hard capsule (75mg), a box of 10 tablets with a blister on the website of the Drug Administration of Vietnam, the Ministry of Health is 44,877 VND/tablet, equivalent to nearly 450,000 VND/box.

Two years ago, the situation where Tamiflu was scarce and tripled in price also happened in Hanoi. The Drug Administration of Vietnam must urge people not to use this drug indiscriminately. According to the recommendations of the Drug Administration, Tamiflu (containing the active ingredient Oseltamivir 75mg) is a drug that should not be used arbitrarily, should not be bought and treated on your own. Tamiflu and other drugs containing the active ingredient Oseltamivir are prescription drugs that require a prescription when dispensed, retailed and used. If used improperly as prescribed by the prescriber, it can lead to danger to life and health.

Answer VnExpressDoctor Truong Huu Khanh, Vice President of Ho Chi Minh City Union of Infectious Diseases, said that it is not necessary to hoard Tamiflu because flu is a disease that can go away on its own, only those with rapid respiratory failure need to take it. this drug. In addition, the medicine needs to be taken at the right time to be effective. If taken more than 48 hours, especially after 72 hours of illness, the drug is almost ineffective.

“Abuse of Tamiflu can lead to drug resistance later on, even depression. This is a drug that is prescribed by a doctor, not bought or stored at home,” the doctor recommended.

In addition, the hoarding of Tamiflu causes a shortage of drugs, pushing up drug prices many times over. “The rush to buy Tamiflu for reserve makes ‘people who need it, don’t have it, people who have it don’t need it’,” said Associate Professor, Dr. Nguyen Tien Dung, former head of the Department of Pediatrics, Bach Mai Hospital.

According to Dr. Dung, not every flu is used Tamiflu. The drug is prescribed for high-risk groups such as people with chronic heart-lung disease, kidney disease, pneumonia complications… Patients should only use it when prescribed by a doctor, absolutely should not buy drugs on their own. cure flu. If you have the common flu, you don’t need to take Tamiflu.

“Therefore, when a child has the flu, the priority should be not to buy Tamiflu, but to pay attention to reducing fever, cleaning the respiratory tract, and adding enough nutrients to increase the child’s resistance,” the doctor said. .

A pediatric patient with influenza A had severe respiratory failure, had to constantly pat sputum and breathe oxygen at the National Children's Hospital.  Photo: Provided by the hospital

A pediatric patient with influenza A had severe respiratory failure, had to constantly pat sputum and breathe oxygen at the National Children’s Hospital. Image: Hospital provides

Seasonal flu is an acute respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. The disease occurs annually, usually in winter-spring. There are 4 strains of seasonal influenza virus: A, B, C and D, in which A and B are the two common viruses.

The disease is transmitted through respiratory droplets, droplets of an infected person’s cough, sneeze or through contact with objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus. The main manifestations are fever, muscle pain, fatigue, inflammation of the respiratory tract, sore throat, possibly accompanied by symptoms of the gastrointestinal tract (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). The course of the disease is benign, recovery is 2-7 days, but for children, especially children with underlying diseases, the risk is high. In addition, the group of people with chronic diseases of the heart, lungs, kidneys, metabolic diseases, anemia or immunodeficiency… also need to be careful.

When a child is infected with flu, the family needs to treat the child according to symptoms, reduce fever, add electrolytes, improve nutrition, clean the nose and throat, limit the child’s contact with other children or people with pre-existing conditions. reduced immunity, lying in a well-ventilated, cool environment.

When there are severe signs such as shortness of breath, rapid breathing, chest indrawing, purple lips, lethargy or irritability, poor appetite or loss of appetite, vomiting a lot… it is necessary to go to the hospital for examination.

Flu vaccination for children from 6 months old. Adults and older children need an annual booster shot of the flu vaccine to maintain protection against the flu virus.

Currently, the whole country circulates mainly influenza A (H3N2, H1N1) and influenza B strains, which have preventive vaccines. “So far, the surveillance system has not detected highly pathogenic influenza A strains such as H5N1, H7N9, H5N6, H5N8,” Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thi Lien Huong said at an online conference to strengthen disease prevention and control, in the afternoon. 21/7. The number of patients coming to the hospital at the last level for flu check-ups increased, but most of them were mild, and there were no deaths.

Thuy An


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