On the agenda - Swine flu drugs cause web flurry

In a nutshell The public has been warned against buying anti-swine flu drug Tamiflu over the internet without a prescription. The Government's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, said drugs bought on the internet might be 'poisonous and dangerous'.

Tamiflu vaccine: public urged not to buy online
Tamiflu vaccine: public urged not to buy online

Why has he spoken out?

Sir Donaldson wanted to reassure the public that the Government has stockpiled enough vaccines of the real Tamiflu drug. His interview aired as news broke that the UK could soon be diagnosing up to 100,000 cases of swine flu every day.

The wider PR strategy on this issue

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) has been running a campaign warning of the dangers of buying drugs online. It launched a ‘Pharmacy logo' last year for accredited online pharmacies to reassure the public they were reputable. The RPSGB has also warned that Tamiflu has now overtaken Viagra as the subject of the most junk emails.

Any other swine flu updates?

Last week the World Health Organization announced the worldwide spread of swine flu was unstoppable. The UK is also moving to a ‘treatment' phase.

Media coverage

The Sir Donaldson interview appeared on BBC Breakfast and also featured online on the BBC health website.

PR support

The RPSGB press office has been fielding calls from the media since the interview was aired.

STATS

100k
People predicted to be diagnosed every day

7.5k
Cases of swine flu in the UK

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