MP slams BBC's Tamiflu stock
Monday, July 20 2009, 16:51 BST
By Daniel Kilkelly, Entertainment Reporter
The BBC has been criticised for stocking up on doses of Tamiflu in recent weeks.
According to the Daily Express, the corporation has purchased 4,000 doses of the swine flu drug in order to easily assist staff members who come into contact with the virus.
Conservative MP Jackson Carlaw has now accused the BBC of ignoring advice from authorities, who have already warned against "stockpiling" the drug.
He commented: "It is nothing short of disgraceful that a licence-payer funded body is storing away an antiviral that is free on the NHS. There is no shortage of Tamiflu.
"People will understandably be very angry and I will be writing to the BBC to find out why it thinks this is an acceptable use of the licence fee, which I and every other television owner is required to pay, when on the other hand the BBC is complaining about a shortage of funds to sustain programming."
However, the corporation has defended its position by claiming that it needs supplies to be easily accessible for workers who are located abroad.
A spokeswoman insisted: "We are not competing with the NHS for scarce vaccines - the UK has strong stocks of antiviral medicines. However, we would not expect the NHS to pay for our stocks of antiviral medicines in, for example, Hong Kong or South America."