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Officials decry private flu drug deals

July 26, 2006
by Sabin Russell
San Francisco Chronicle

Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America's Health, which lobbied hard in Washington to have stockpiles included in a federal pandemic plan, said the marketing of the scarce drug to private businesses raises questions about basic fairness. "Are the private folks going to get in line behind the federal government, or will there be a separate purchasing system for them?" he asked. Also troubling to Levi is the notion that some businesses inherently will be better able to invest in an antiviral stockpile than others. "Only big companies are going to be able to do this, and to afford to house medical staff to do the prescribing,'' he said.

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