The drug market for flu treatment is relatively small, currently standing at below US$10 trillion. The market is dominated by a Tamiflu of Swiss drug company Roche Holding and Relenza of UK-based GlaxoSmithKline. Yet, tolerance to anti-viral drugs steadily builds up and at some point, their effectiveness is lost. Hence, uninterrupted research and development for new anti-viral drugs is imperative. Most recently, a new kind of antibody-based flu drugs are being actively developed.
Since the death rate of the 2009 H1N1 flu is low than past pandemics but every nook and corner people are suffering, the current situation should be approached calmly, rather than with extreme fears. Industry-wide, vaccine-related bio technologies should be developed to prepare for the next new pandemic. There is time to cope with through pre-development of vaccines and anti-viral drugs for the possible outbreak of H5N1 bird flu that is considered next-generation flu. These viruses have yet to mutate into a form that is infectious to humans on a massive scale.