Wednesday, December 21, 2022

HHS Announces Release Of Some Tamiflu Supplies From the Strategic National Stockpile


Starting about 5 weeks ago (see CDC FluView Week 44: Flu Still Rising Sharply), we began to hear reports that the influenza antiviral oseltamivir (aka `Tamiflu') was  in short supply in some parts of the country, and since then the flu - and shortages - have grown much worse. 

And it isn't just Tamiflu.   Everything `cold & flu related' is flying off the pharmacy shelves.  

Over-the-Counter (OTC) medications like cough drops, and children's Tylenol, are in just as short supply as prescription medications like oseltamivir, Albuterol inhalers, and the common antibiotic amoxicillin, among many others (see FDA list).

Today, in an indication of how rough this year's flu season has already been, the HHS has announced the release of some Tamiflu from the Strategic National Stockpile to states, territories, and other jurisdictions who request it.

December 21, 2022
Contact: HHS Press Office

HHS Increases Access to Tamiflu through the Strategic National Stockpile

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), announced that they are making additional supply of Tamiflu available to jurisdictions to respond to an increased demand for the antiviral during this flu season, including through the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). Jurisdictions will work with their ASPR Regional Teams to evaluate any requests for Tamiflu through the SNS, ensuring that states, territories, and tribes receive the assistance they need without affecting our nation’s preparedness for a future pandemic flu.

This announcement is the latest in a set of actions that the Biden-Harris Administration and HHS have taken to reduce the burden on health care systems and keep Americans healthy this winter. Last week, ASPR extended flexibility to states to use Tamiflu in state stockpiles that was previously reserved for a pandemic flu – making millions of treatment courses available to keep people healthy this winter.

“We have made it clear to every Governor that the Biden-Harris Administration stands ready to assist with resources and supplies,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, who sent a letter to governors on December 2. “Today we are taking action so that every jurisdiction can meet the increased demand for Tamiflu this flu season. State stockpiles can be utilized, and if jurisdictions need access to the Strategic National Stockpile, they now have it to respond to the current seasonal flu outbreak.”

“The actions taken today to increase access to Tamiflu show our preparedness system at work,” said Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell. “The country is more prepared for this surge because the SNS holds strategic stores of Tamiflu. As a result, jurisdictions will be able to get the support they need to keep Americans healthy as flu cases rise this winter.”

HHS has partnered closely with jurisdictions for months to address any strain to health care systems created by the confluence of COVID-19, flu, and RSV – including a specific focus on expanding access to medicines under high demand. Manufacturers continue to report that they are running manufacturing facilities 24-7 to address high demand and have encouraged the public to only buy what they need.

On December 2, Secretary Becerra sent a letter to states highlighting resources and flexibilities available this winter including Centers for Disease Control funding, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services waivers, telehealth flexibilities, and ASPR surge resources. The Food and Drug Administration and ASPR have been closely engaged with jurisdictions, manufacturers, and stakeholders such as pediatric associations and hospitals to monitor for any potential vulnerabilities to our health resources supply chain.

Additionally, our best tool to fight the flu and COVID-19 continues to be safe and effective vaccines. Go to and stay updated on your vaccinations to help keep the country healthy.

Further details on this announcement including Tamiflu expiration information can be found here.