A programme to reserve supplies of antiviral medication in the event of a pandemic is on offer to UK employers

A scheme for businesses to reserve a stockpile of antiviral medication, to assist in covering their employees in the event of a pandemic outbreak, is to be offered to UK employers for the first time.

In June, Roche announced a similar scheme in the US where businesses could reserve one treatment course of its antiviral medication Tamiflu, guaranteeing them a supply of the treatment in the event of a pandemic.

The new UK scheme, provided by Healthcare Connections, imitates Roche’s US offering and also allows companies to prescribe and supply the drug to their employees.

Alison Brown, chief executive of Healthcare Connections said the UK scheme was better because it removed the need for businesses to source a health provider in an exhausted market at the time of a pandemic.

Under the new programme the participating business would retain the services of Healthcare Connections as the designated occupational health providers in the event of a pandemic.