Sales of anti-flu drug Tamiflu soared 203 percent in the first six months of 2009, Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche said Thursday, contributing to a 9.0 percent growth in overall sales for the group.
Amid the swine flu pandemic, sales of the drug reached 1.0 billion Swiss francs (938 million dollars or 659 million euros) in the first half of the year.
Sales to governments and corporations which were stockpiling the drug reached 653 million francs during the period, said Roche.
"Additional government stockpiling orders and increased demand in the retail pharmacy market contributed to the particularly strong sales recorded in the second quarter," it added.
Roche said it would be ramping up its production capacity of Tamiflu -- one of two drugs recommended by the World Health Organisation to treat the A(H1N1) virus -- to 400 million packs annually by 2010.
In its first half earnings statement, the group also said that overall sales reached 24 billion Swiss francs, up 9 percent.
Net profit was however down 29 percent to 4.1 billion Swiss francs due to charges related to the acquisition of Genentech.