Keep stock of swine flu drugs: Government to private hospita
The private hospitals in the city have been told to keep stocks of oseltamivir tablets used for treating H1N1 (swine flu) to combat any outbreak in the coming months when the temperatures take a dip. With winters approaching, the health department has stepped up preparations to deal with the possible outbreak of the disease.

“Since the restriction on oseltamivir has been lifted and any chemist can store it, we have issued directions to private hospitals to keep stocks of the medicine and do not depend on government supply,” said a senior health department official.

Earlier, oseltamivir was a Schedule X drug and required special licence. Limited shops in city had the special licence to store the drug earlier. Therefore, the private hospitals had to rush to the chief medical health officers of respective districts to get the drug from free government supply.

“It is no more a Schedule X drug. Now, it comes under Schedule H1 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and can be stored by licenced chemists. It does not require a special licence,” said the official. Earlier, patients had to scout many shops for buying the medicine as it was available at select chemists.

The government order asking private hospitals to store the medicine will help the patients at a time when the state has reported the highest number of swine flu cases in the country this year so far. Moreover, Rajasthan has also reported the second-highest number of deaths due to the disease.

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