Pfizer ( PFE) is helping China create a stockpile of a drug that could be effective against future outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome, according to a published report.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that E. Allan Gabor, chairman of Pfizer's China operations, said that nation needs hundreds of thousands of doses of Solu-Medrol in case SARS becomes a big problem again.

The report indicated that authorities in China have picked the anti-inflammatory as a main treatment against SARS because it's already used against less-serious lung ailments.

Pfizer already has doubled China's normal shipments of Solu-Medrol to more than a million doses in recent weeks, according to the report.

Shares of Pfizer were down 15 cents to $31.13 in recent New York Stock Exchange trading. A broad drug sector measure, the Amex Pharmaceutical Index, was up 0.5%.

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