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The severe drought ravaging southwest China, home to an ingredient in the anti-flu drug Tamiflu, may prompt Roche, Tamiflu's biggest producer, to use substitute ingredients.
Southwest China produces 85 percent of the world's Star Anise, an ingredient of Tamiflu, and the region's production may be "substantially reduced" as a result of the drought, said Li Changxin of zyctd.com, China's biggest traditional medicine trading website.
Two thirds of the Star Anise used by Tamiflu's biggest producer, F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., comes from China, said Lu Shunzhong from the Forestry Research Institute of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.