After the first swine flu outbreak this spring, the makers of Tamiflu decided to focus on manufacturing the pill form of the drug, which allows the company to produce 25 times as much of the medicine. But for children, and their parents, that decision has been a tough pill to swallow. It has resulted in a shortage of liquid Tamiflu, a syrupy, easy-to-swallow form of the medicine that children can easily ingest. Children are the most vulnerable to the H1N1 virus, and the medicine is most effective when administered within the first 48 hours. Spot shortages are sending panicked parents rushing from one pharmacy to the next. The government, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control are suggesting that pharmacies mitigate the shortage by coming up with a homemade concoction: cracking open the tablets themselves and mixing them with a syrup.
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