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China step up efforts in bird flu fight
By Wang Zhenghua (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-21 05:44

But the Swiss drug-maker has repeatedly said it would not give up its exclusive patent on the drug to ease the worldwide shortage.

Xu said the anti-viral drug is available at leading hospitals and is sold at a lower price compared to the United States and Europe.

But several top hospitals in Beijing said yesterday that they have never prescribed the medicine; and only Peking University First Hospital said the medication was out of stock. A 10-pill course costs about 300 yuan (US$37).

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