Tamiflu’s Achilles Heel – Taste Test by the International Association of Medicinal Compliance to Best Illustrate How Taste Can Influence Adherence

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The bitter taste of Tamiflu could prevent children from taking a medication that would be their first line of defense against the avian flu. The International Assocation of Medicinal Compliance will hold a Tamiflu taste test to allow members of the media to learn for themselves how palatability can affect medicinal compliance. Not following a medication's complete regimen can lead to increased spread of infection, viral mutation and consequently, unnecessary deaths, especially in the case of a pandemic.

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PRWEB) May 15, 2006 -- On Tuesday May 16th at 12:00PM, the International Association of Medicinal Compliance (IAMC) will host a Tamiflu tasting event in the Murrow Room of the National Press Club. Members of the press are invited to learn about the potential flaws in the government’s plan to stockpile this “silver bullet drug” in the event of an avian flu pandemic. Due to taste, children, who are the major carrier/transmitter of the typical flu, are likely to be less than 50% compliant with the pediatric version of this medication. Not only will children refuse the medication, but not finishing the entire drug regimen as prescribed could result in persistent symptoms, uncured disorders, and the evolution of drug-resistant strains. Consequences such as these could lead to America’s greatest fear for the avian flu: mutation of the virus and continued swift spread of infection with no way to fight back.    

Since October 2005, the DC-based non-profit organization has been spreading a medical compliance message, most recently by asking the government for a more comprehensive pandemic preparedness plan. They have met with many members of the Senate HELP committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, in addition to representatives of the Health and Human Services Department (HHS). Gunjan Koul, Director of the organization, sought advice from FLAVORx, a Maryland-based biotech firm and member of the IAMC, to remedy the compliance problems that Tamiflu would most likely present.

In its liquid state Tamiflu has a very bitter aftertaste which will most certainly lead to a lack of compliance. However, it can safely be flavored in four choices (Watermelon, Raspberry, Grape and Orange Cream) into a better tasting drug that children can take without having to endure the unnecessary pain or struggle that is common with antiviral medications.

Of equal concern is that once symptoms of the avian flu subside, both parents and children will think they are better and stop administering and taking the medication before the entire course has been completed. This will cause many patients’ to become resistant to the medication but will not kill the organism. Thus the flu will return possibly as a more virulent strain creating an even faster-spreading pandemic.

It is the IAMC's hope that once people taste the before-and-after version of this medication, palatability will be an issue that becomes top priority. It is imperative that the nation have a comprehensive plan in place to combat the spread of infection and drug resistance.

The IAMC is a 501©3 non profit organization located in Washington, DC. Its mission is “better health thru compliance.” They strive to save lives and reduce the economic toll on the healthcare system by getting people to be compliant with their medication regimens. Members in their international organization consist of doctors, pharmacists and organizations that support their cause. More information can be found at http://www.takeyourmedicine.org.

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