Tamiflu’s Effectiveness Called Into Question

TimesOnline There is no clear evidence that Tamiflu prevents complications in people with flu, an analysis suggests.

While studies have shown the antiviral can cut the length of time people have symptoms by about a day, no real evidence has emerged that it prevents conditions like pneumonia, researchers said.

The study, published online in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), questions the validity of research from Roche, the pharmaceutical giant that makes Tamiflu.

In August, experts said the drug was unlikely to prevent complications in children.

More than a million courses of antivirals including Tamiflu have been given out to people across Britain since the start of the swine flu pandemic. Around a million courses have been handed out through the National Pandemic Flu Service for England, with many more given out through GP surgeries.

The latest investigation, by the BMJ and Channel 4 News, found no real evidence Tamiflu stops complications and puts the cost of the drug to the Government at some £500 million.

A review of 20 existing studies was carried out by a team led by experts from the Cochrane Collaboration, which last reviewed the evidence in 2005.

For the rest of the article go here.

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