UPDATE 1-Roche replenishes WHO stocks of Tamiflu, ups output
* Roche says to replenish WHO Tamiflu stocks
* To produce 110 million Tamiflu courses over next 5 months
* Production at 36 million courses per month by year end
ZURICH, May 12 (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Roche (ROG.VX) is donating 5.65 million packs of its Tamiflu to the World Health Organisation to replenish stockpiles deployed against the H1N1 outbreak and said it was ramping up production of the drug.
Roche said on Tuesday it was providing 2 million courses to replenish a stockpile to address regional outbreaks and 3 million courses for the WHO's rapid response stockpile, while it was also creating a new paediatric stockpile of 650,000 child courses.
The WHO said last week it would start distributing its Tamiflu stockpiles to 72 countries in need.
Roche also said it would produce 110 million Tamiflu courses over the next five months and increase production to 36 million courses per month by the end of the year if required, equating to a maximum annual capacity of 400 million courses per year.
"Actual production output is dependent on continued demand from governments for pandemic stockpiles of Tamiflu," David Reddy, head of Roche's global pandemic preparedness task force, said in a statement.
Roche said pandemic preparedness would be important given the uncertain impact of H1N1 on the current southern hemisphere flu season and subsequent northern hemisphere winter.
Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline's Relenza, known generically as oseltamivir and zanamivir respectively, are the only two approved drugs to which the new strain of influenza A H1N1 has been found to be susceptible. (Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Dan Lalor)
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