Rapid Response Team To Combat Bird Flu

FDA Announces Rapid Response Team to Combat Pandemic (Avian) Flu

Team Will Boost Agency's Efforts to Expedite Manufacturing of Tamiflu and New Drugs to Treat Avian Flu

In response to the emerging threat of pandemic (Avian) influenza, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the formation of a Rapid Response Team to ensure that antiviral drugs are available to the American people, in the event they are needed. While there is no current flu pandemic, the team will help ensure an adequate supply of treatments, such as oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu) and other anti-influenza drugs, for stockpiling in the event there is an outbreak in the United States.

"Making sure Americans are protected against an outbreak of Avian flu is one of FDA's top priorities," said Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, Acting FDA Commissioner. "Using the Rapid Response Team approach, we believe we could review a complete drug application in six to eight weeks. Americans can be certain that FDA has the best scientific minds working together to ensure we have enough Tamiflu and other medications and to quickly get it to doctors and patients, if ever necessary."

In partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and industry, the Rapid Response Team will work to ensure every necessary measure is taken to provide an adequate and timely supply of antiviral drugs to treat Avian flu, if it should emerge in the United States.