WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government is buying more Tamiflu, a drug that can lessen the severity of bird flu, for the nation's stockpile.
Already on hand is enough of the drug to treat about 5 million people. On Wednesday, the government ordered from the manufacturer enough to treat 12.4 million more.
That's still well shy of the Bush administration's ultimate goal of stockpiling enough medication to treat a quarter of the U.S. population _ a plan that depends heavily on states eventually buying up the drug, too, with their own money.
The purchases are part of government preparations in case the bird flu, or some other super-strain of influenza, one day sparks a worldwide epidemic. Tamiflu is made by Roche Holding AG.