Health insurers will only reimburse some flu sufferers for the antiviral medicine Tamiflu, health authorities have said.
The medicine, used to treat the H1N1 virus, will be made available free from August 1 to hospital patients, children aged over three and adults aged over 65. A box of ten Tamiflu pills costs around SFr80 ($74).
The Federal Health Office confirmed on Sunday that even though pregnant women were a risk group for the virus, they would not be reimbursed for the drug for the time being.
Swissmedic, the agency that authorises therapeutic products, has not yet approved use of Tamiflu in children under three.
Tamiflu is one of two anti-viral drugs, along with Relenza, said to be effective against the so-called swine flu. Each pack of Tamiflu, also known as oseltamivir, is enough for one course of treatment for the viral infection.
Swiss health authorities have warned that up to two million people in Switzerland may be affected by swine flu – almost one in four of the population.
The pandemic spread globally in less than two months and has infected people in 160 countries.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
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