Stocks of the antiviral flu medication Tamiflu are drying up in Perth, prompting doctors to call on health authorities to release their supplies for patients most at risk of complications.

Several pharmacies reported yesterday being unable to fill prescriptions because they could not get stock from wholesalers.

Tamiflu is a prescription drug that can reduce the length and severity of the flu but has to be taken in the first 40 hours of symptoms starting.

Last week, the Health Department said there was no need to give out the drug for free because there was no shortage at pharmacies.

But Pharmacy Guild WA director Matthew Tweedie confirmed a shortage yesterday, saying the three wholesalers had back orders.

The West Australian

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