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August 17, 2005

Cheaper alternative to Tamiflu?Avian Flu - What we need to know

Reader Ross Norcross brings to my attention a drug called VIRA 38, produced by PRB Pharmaceuticals. It is currently undergoing clinical trials in Hong-Kong to determine its effectiveness compared to Tamiflu. The drug is attractive mainly because it is reportedly cheaper than Tamiflu. Recent reports indicate production capacity for the drug has been expanded in response to the threat of a flu pandemic. Medical news today also reports that earlier this week Vietnam announced it will begin tests with Vera 38:

PRB Pharmaceuticals and Lee's Pharmaceuticals announced today that Vietnam's Department of Animal Health will begin testing an animal version of VIRA 38 on their poultry flocks as part of a multi-national, avian influenza research collaboration. Other members of the group include laboratories and clinics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Prince of Wales Hospital (Hong Kong), and Mahidol University, (Thailand).

[...] VIRA 38, first gained notoriety during the Taiwan SARS outbreak when it was used by the Taiwan Presidential staff and doctors at Sungshan Hospital (SARS management facility) and again in 2004 when it was found to inhibit H5N1 infections.

About VIRA 38: VIRA 38, PRB Pharmaceuticals' over-the-counter broad spectrum anti-viral medication is known for its effectiveness in treating and preventing influenza. VIRA 38 has recently been shown to contain compounds that inhibit a variety of pathogens including the bird flu (H5N1) virus.

An older Effect Measure post is skeptical of VIRA 38's effectiveness. If anyone knows more about the drug, feel free to share using the comments section.

Posted by dymaxion at August 17, 2005 02:26 PM

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I bought 3 bottles of Vira 38 from prbpharmaceuticals.com. The ad on the net said it was distributed via an inhalant. What I got was 3 bottles from Hong Kong where this is evidently produced. It was not as advertised! I complained to them and have so far been ignored. Like the company I suspect this drug is a big rouse. I suggest you to do NOT buy this stuff.

Posted by: Mark Grimstead at October 19, 2005 02:22 AM

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