European pharma industry meets in Brussels for flu talks

Swine fluBrussels - Representatives of the European pharmaceutical industry were set to arrive in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss their response to a feared swine-flu pandemic with the European Union's top health policy-maker. EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou invited them to the EU's capital to ask about the current availability of flu vaccines and their capacity to produce and distribute more supplies if necessary, Vassiliou's spokeswoman, Nina Papadoulaki, told journalists in the city.

The meeting comes as the EU gears up to face a potential worldwide explosion of the disease, which has caused seven confirmed deaths in Mexico and is reported to have killed at least 150 more people there.

At present, seven people in the EU have been confirmed as having the disease: two in Spain, two in Scotland and three in Germany. According to the latest figures, a further 104 possible cases are under investigation across the EU, Papadoulaki said.

She "would prefer not" to say which pharmaceutical firms are set to attend the Wednesday briefing, she said.(dpa)