In the absence of a scarce flu vaccine to treat expected illnesses this season, the health community faces a likely residual shortage of four antiviral drugs used to treat the flu once it has taken hold. The CDC is stockpiling drugs and planning quietly for their distribution at the same time it is trying to persuade drugmakers to increase production. Antiviral drugs include Roche's Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline's Relenza, as well as older treatments, including Forest Laboratories' Flumadine.

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