Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Font Size

Bush Meets With Vaccine Firms on Bird Flu

Government Officials Attempt to Move Quickly to Counter Threat
WebMD Health News

Oct. 7, 2005 -- President Bush met with vaccine manufacturers Friday in an effort to coordinate a strategy for preparing the country for a possible avian flu pandemic.

The meetings came amid a week of flurried activity in Washington, over what public health experts have long warned as inadequate national preparedness for an outbreak.

Vaccine makers are in the process of stepping up production capacity that could be used to manufacture an avian flu vaccine in the event of an outbreak. But the ramp-up is expensive, and manufacturers and public health experts are now asking for a list of government incentives to entice production.

White House officials billed Friday's meeting as "a listening session" between the president and vaccine CEOs.

"One thing that we need to focus on is our manufacturing capacity," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

McClellan repeated White House support for greater lawsuit immunity for vaccine makers, a longtime goal of the industry.

Beefing Up Vaccine Supply

The Senate earlier this week passed $3.9 billion in spending targeted toward buying increased supplies of antiviral medications like Tamiflu. Experts consider such drugs a stopgap measure only if vaccine is unavailable.

Reports have also suggested that Bush may back an even larger spending package meant to purchase larger stockpiles of vaccine, drugs, and medical equipment like respirator masks and gloves that would be needed in the even of a national emergency.

"If there's a consensus view that more resources are needed, I have every expectation that the president would seek those," White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy tells WebMD.

What's Next?

Lawmakers introduced several bills this week providing a host of further incentives to vaccine markers, including large stockpiling programs and guaranteed purchase orders to protect firms from losses if they overproduce vaccine.

One manufacturer, Sanofi-Pasteur, signed a government deal in August to deliver $100 million worth of vaccine against the avian flu strain H5N1. But the deal is only a small percentage of what would be needed to vaccinate the U.S. population in the event of a pandemic.

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
cold weather
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Boy holding ear
woman receiving vaccine shot
woman with fever
Waking up from sleep
woman with sore throat