As influenza continues to spread in Japan, a type of flu medicine for children is experiencing a supply shortage, prompting the government to ask medical institutions to refrain from making too many orders.
In a notice to prefectural governments issued Wednesday, the health ministry asked that they make sure hospitals and pharmacies across the nation procure “only the necessary volumes” of the dry syrup form of oseltamivir phosphate. The drug is sold as Tamiflu by Chugai Pharmaceutical, while Sawai Pharmaceutical manufactures its own generic version.
The ministry also asked that the use of other flu drugs, such as inhalation medicine, be considered for children over the age of 5. In addition, it has recommended that pharmacies separate capsules containing oseltamivir phosphate from their outer shells and mix the granules inside with excipients, so children can have the drug administered to them in noncapsule forms.