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Federal Government Releases Tamiflu from National Stockpile

December 21, 2022

With antivirals in high demand this winter, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today it was making Tamiflu available to states from the national stockpile.

The announcement comes as communities around the country report shortages for the prescription antiviral during this challenging respiratory virus season.

The agency said it wanted to ensure states had the resources they needed while maintaining overall preparedness for future pandemics.

 “The country is more prepared for this surge because the (Strategic National Stockpile) holds strategic stores of Tamiflu,” said Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for preparedness and response. “As a result, jurisdictions will be able to get the support they need to keep Americans healthy as flu cases rise this winter.”

The Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Regional Teams will evaluate any requests for Tamiflu from the national stockpile. Additionally, ASPR extended flexibility to states to use Tamiflu in state stockpiles that was previously reserved for a pandemic flu.

Jurisdictions will work with their ASPR Regional Teams to make requests for Tamiflu, but the timeline for those requests was not outlined in the agency’s announcement.

The surge in respiratory illnesses has led to reported shortages for Tamiflu, over-the-counter (OTC) children’s pain relievers, and other fever-reducing medicines. In a statement this month, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) noted the efforts to address the supply challenges and encouraged “responsible purchasing practices” to help keep products on the shelves.

“The reason for the scarcity of OTC children’s pain relievers at certain retail locations is a direct result of the recent and rapid increase in demand driven by a rise in pediatric cases of respiratory illnesses including the flu, COVID, and RSV,” CHPA said.

Additional information about the HHS announcement is available online.