Switzerland confirms first swine flu case

Switzerland confirms first swine flu caseGeneva - A man who recently returned from Mexico has been confirmed as having Switzerland's first case of swine flu, medical officials said Thursday.

The announcement about the 19-year-old man's condition, which was deemed stable, was made by a hospital in the canton of Baden overnight following a laboratory confirmation.

The case had initially been misdiagnosed earlier in the week, media reports said, and the man was sent home from hospital only to return.

He was being held in isolated and treated with the anti-viral Tamiflu.

Swiss presidency upset with OECD over tax list

Swiss presidency upset with OECD over tax list Bern - Switzerland sent a letter of complaint to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, posted on a government Website Wednesday, saying the think-tank did not receive its permission to publish a grey list of so called tax havens.

The OECD, which is supported a group of developed economies of which the Alpine nation is a member, placed Switzerland and several other countries on a grey list around the G20 meeting held in London at the beginning of this month.

Novartis says its new oral MS drug prevents relapses

Novartis ties up with USV to market Galvus in IndiaGeneva - Swiss drugmaker Novartis said Wednesday that 80 to 83 per cent of patients in a year-long clinical trial of its new drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis had remained relapse-free. The company said the results were in line with its previous studies on the FTY720 oral compound. The data show the relapse rate at one year was
52 per cent lower for those in the trial of the new drug compared with patients using existing medications on the market.

Swiss flu medicine producer Roche ups its preparedness

RocheGeneva - Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche announced Wednesday that it had increased its preparedness level in response to the World Health Organization (WHO) decision to raise the pandemic influenza alert by one level to phase 4. Roche, in a statement, said it was working with "the WHO and governments around the world to make the oral anti-viral medication Tamiflu available to patients in need."

Tamiflu, produced by Roche, has been deemed to be effective against swine flu.

The company said that to date it had filled 220 million treatment courses of the drug ordered by governments.

Six athletes fail Olympic doping tests in retests

Six athletes fail Olympic doping tests in retests Lausanne, Switzerland - Six athletes have tested positive for the latest generation of the blood booster EPO at the Beijing Olympics, the International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday after retesting of Games' samples was completed. The IOC said that the six athletes submitted seven positive samples for the substance known as CERA.

The IOC did not identify the athletes but their national Olympic Committees have been informed of the adverse findings to set up the necessary proceedings.

Switzerland and US begin taxation talks

Switzerland and US begin taxation talks Bern - Swiss and US tax authorities began negotiations on Tuesday on opening and re-drawing the double taxation agreements, an official confirmed. The negotiations followed Switzerland's announcement last month, along with other countries with banking secrecy laws, that it would relax the strict rules and help fight tax fraud in line with the standards of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

That OECD has placed Switzerland on a so-called grey list until it implements its pledges.