"It has been reported to this office that the medicines used for swine flu, oseltamivir, zanamivir, rimantadine are in short supply in the country. The non-availability of these vital drugs may lead to higher risk of complications to the patients infected with H1NI virus," National Pharmaceutical  Pricing Authority (NPPA) said in a letter to the companies.
     
The letter was addressed to Mumbai-based Cipla, Hetero Labs in Hyderabad, Bangalore-based Strides Arcolab and Gurgaon-based Ranbaxy among others.
     
Asking these firms to "maintain adequate stocks and to ensure smooth supply of the drugs", NPPA further directed the companies to "rush the stock immediately wherever short supply is reported in the country".

In a move to ensure continued availability of the drugs, NPPA said: "The manufacturers of swine flu drugs are required to submit the stock and supply position, drugwise, on monthly basis."
     
The death toll from swine flu this year has soared to 585 with 100 more casualties reported across the country in three days since Februar 12, prompting the Centre to order additional stocks of medicines and diagnostic kits.

Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are the worst-affected states, with their respective tolls standing at 165, 144, 76 and 58, official figures said.

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