The drug Tamiflu, given to tens of thousands of people during the swine flu pandemic, does nothing to halt the spread of influenza and the Government wasted nearly £500 million stockpiling it, a major study has found.
The review, authored by Oxford University, claims that Roche, the drug’s Swiss manufacturer, gave a “false impression” of its effectiveness and accuses the company of “sloppy science”.
The study found that Tamiflu, which was given to 240,000 people in the UK at a rate of 1,000 a week, has been linked to suicides of children in Japan and suggested that, far from easing flu symptoms, it could actually worsen them.
Dr Tom Jefferson, an epidemiologist with The Cochrane Collaboration, added:
“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.”
The report’s authors said they had struggled to obtain the original trial data from Roche, which initially claimed it was confidential.