The drug Tamiflu was given to tens of thousands of people during the H1N1 flu pandemic. A recent study claims that the drug does nothing to halt the spread of influenza. This could mean that the UK and US Governments wasted £500 million and $1.5 billion stockpiling the drug, respectively.
The review published in the British Medical Journal, claims that Roche, the drug’s Swiss manufacturer, gave a “false impression” of its effectiveness and accuses the company of “sloppy science”.
Dr Tom Jefferson, the lead author said, “The stuff is toxic. It increased the risk of psychiatric events, headaches and renal events in one in 150 people. People reported nausea, vomiting and constriction of the airways. In Japan eight children jumped out of windows and committed suicide.”
However, Dr Daniel Thurley, UK medical director of Roche , countered: “We disagree with the overall conclusions of this report. Roche stands behind the wealth of data for Tamiflu and the decisions of public health agencies worldwide, including the US and European Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation."
Indeed, a previous review published in the Lancet highlighted the effectiveness of neuraminidase inhibitors such as Tamiflu in reducing mortality at the peak of the H1N1 pandemic.
Read more about:
BMJ Tamiflu campaign http://goo.gl/yfs7Xc
Dr Tom Jefferson's review http://goo.gl/ff09pj
Lancet's contrasting Tamiflu review http://goo.gl/tn70rm
Via Sepp Hasslberger