Britain stockpiled drugs for predicted bird flu in 2005 and swine flu in 2009 that independent scientists say are no cure.
The Cochrane Collaboration, a group of independent scientists who investigate the effectiveness of medicines, says that the best Tamiflu can do is shorten a bout of flu by approximately half a day – from around seven to 6.3 days.
They also found worrying side-effects in people taking it to prevent flu, which had not been fully disclosed, including psychiatric and kidney problems. "There is no credible way these drugs could prevent a pandemic," said Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University and one of the team. They are now calling for the WHO to review its advice to countries and for the UK government not to renew its stockpile when the drugs go out of date.