States scrape up bird flu drug funds

August 9, 2006
by Julie Schmit
USA Today

The federal government plans to buy 44 million anti-viral courses for the states this fiscal year (which ends Sept. 30) and next, enough to cover 17% of the population. It wants states to buy 31 million more courses, to reach 25%. A course treats one person. The plan has critics, including health advocacy organization Trust for America's Health. It warned earlier this year that cash-strapped states may not follow through on full anti-viral purchases. "Where you live should not dictate the level of protection," says spokeswoman Kim Elliott. The federal government should pay the full freight, TFAH says.

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