BASEL, Switzerland, July 23, 2009 (AFP) - Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche on Thursday said it would sell another 658 million euros of anti-flu drug Tamiflu by the end of 2009, having already sold a similar amount this year.
Roche chief executive Severin Schwan told journalists the group expected to sell "around one billion (Swiss) francs" more of the drug, one of two recommended by the World Health Organisation to treat swine flu.
In its first-half earnings statement, the group said it had already sold 1.0 billion Swiss francs worth of the drug in the first half of the year as the A(H1N1) virus spread around the world, reaching pandemic levels.
Sales to governments and corporations stockpiling the drug had reached 653 million francs during the first six months of the year, said Roche.
"Additional government stockpiling orders and increased demand in the retail pharmacy market contributed to the particularly strong sales recorded in the second quarter," it added.
Roche said it would be increasing its production capacity of Tamiflu to 400 million packs annually by 2010.