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October 14, 1968


JAMA. 1968;206(3):489-506. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150030007003

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PHS—Firm Differ On Anti-Flu Drug  The antiviral agent, amantadine hydrochloride, cannot be recommended at this time as a prophylactic agent against the Hong Kong strain of influenza virus, according to a United States Public Health Service statement.The statement by the PHS Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was made after E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. distributed a news release reporting that the Hong Kong variant was sensitive to amantadine in laboratory tests.The Du Pont release stated: "The tests suggest this oral drug can be used for the prevention of illness from the new strains of the virus that have appeared in the Far East since July."Du Pont markets amantadine under the brand name Symmetrel.The PHS statement said, in part:"In weighing the possible usefulness of amantadine hydrochloride for influenza control in 1968-1969, several problems must be recognized: There has been no satisfactory study