Influenza Season 2016/17: Use of Antiviral Medicines

With surveillance data indicating an increase in influenza cases in the community the Department of Health (DH) has via its Central Alerting System published a letter advising that GPs and other prescribers working in primary care in England may now prescribe antiviral medicines for the prophylaxis and treatment of flu at NHS expense.

Prescribers may prescribe for patients in ‘clinical at-risk’ groups as well as those who are at risk of severe illness and/or compilations from flu if not treated, in accordance with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance and the Selected List Scheme (SLS) in Part XVIIIB of the England and Wales Drug Tariff. Information on at risk groups and patients eligible for treatment in primary care at NHS expense with either oseltamivir (Tamiflu), or zanamivir (Relenza), is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/563029/PHE_guidance_antivirals_influenza_2016_to_2017_FINAL.pdf