April 29, 2009 / 8:46 PM / 10 years ago

WHO's Chan calls for donations to antiviral stocks

GENEVA, April 29 (Reuters) - World Health Organization director-general Dr. Margaret Chan called for more donations to the world’s stocks of antiviral drugs, saying more drugs are needed to help the world battle an imminent pandemic.

Chan, who has just raised the pandemic threat level to phase 5 out of a possible 6, also urged companies who make the drugs to ramp up production. Two antiviral drugs — Relenza, made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) (GSK.N) and Tamiflu, made by Roche AG <ROG.VX and Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD.O) — have been shown to work against the H1N1 swine flu strain.

Drugmakers have donated millions of doses of their drugs to the WHO.

(Reporting by Laura MacInnis and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva)

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