posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 04:36 PM
With the approval of the Chinese government, Chinese farmers have been treating their poultry with Amantadine, violating International Livestock
Guidlines and rendering the drug now useless in the human fight against H5N1, the Avian Bird Flu. The farmers have tried to suppress the Avian
outbreaks in poultry with use of the drug for years now and it is believed that the treatment of the chinese poultry with Amantadine has caused it to
no longer protect humans against the H5N1 strain in the case of a predicted worldwide pandemic.
Local government veterinary stations instructed Chinese farmers on how to use the drug and at times supplied it, animal health experts said.
"Amantadine is widely used in the entire country," said Zhang Libin, head of the veterinary medicine division of Northeast General Pharmaceutical
Factory in Shenyang. He added, "Many pharmaceutical factories around China produce amantadine, and farmers can buy it easily in veterinary medicine
Zhang and other animal health experts said the drug was used by small, private farms and larger commercial ones. Amantadine sells for about $10 a
pound, a fraction of the drug's cost in Europe and the United States, where its price would be prohibitive for all but human consumption.
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Approval for use of the Amantadine in China came for the farmers by the Chinese Agriculture Ministry which allowed the sale and production of the
drug for use in animals. It has been long suspected that the country has been using the drug at poultry farms and researchers at the U.S centre for
disease control have now collected information on the use of the drug within the country via various chinese websites.
The drug is one of two medications used in the treatment of human influenza but it was found the the H5N1 strain found in Vietnam and Thailand had
beecome resistent to the drug. The alternative medication is more costly to produce and difficult to produce in large quanities.
[edit on 18-6-2005 by Mayet]