Influenza antivirals will play a critical role in the treatment of outpatients and hospitalised patients in the next pandemic. In the past decade, a number of new influenza antivirals have been licensed for seasonal influenza, which can now be considered for inclusion into antiviral stockpiles held by the World Health Organization (WHO) and individual countries. However, data gaps remain regarding the effectiveness of new and existing antivirals in severely ill patients, and regarding which monotherapy or combinations of antivirals may yield the greatest improvement in outcomes. Regardless of the drug being used, influenza antivirals are most effective when treatment is initiated early in the course of infection, and therefore in a pandemic, effective strategies which enable rapid diagnosis and prompt delivery will yield the greatest benefits.
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