Newly FDA-approved flu drug arrives at some Portland pharmacies

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PORTLAND, Ore. – For the first time in 20 years, the FDA has approved a new flu medication and it's available in our area.

The medication is called Xofluza (pronounced zo-flu-zuh) and it's a pill that works with your healthy cells to attack the flu in the early stage.

Exactly a month ago, we spoke with both the Oregon Pharmacy Board and the Oregon Health Authority to find out when it might be available.

On Tuesday, the pharmacy board says they know some Portland Walgreen's stores have it in stock. Several other pharmacies can order it for the next business day.

“It is indicated for uncomplicated flu symptoms that have started less than 48 hours prior. It's a single dose medication, but it cost probably 2-3 times the amount of all of the other flu medications that you can receive,” said Dr. David Hotchkin, MD, who is the Lead Physician for Influenza Planning at The Oregon Clinic.

Insurance coverage will vary and you will need a prescription to get it.

Experts also say Xofluza can prevent the virus from turning into pneumonia.

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