Popular Science News | No Proof Tamiflu Works

Popular Science News – last year, Tamiflu, manufactured by Roche, was included in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of ‘essential medicines.’ In effect, making the company’s product a must buy for the NHS. The problem is, there is no proof that it works.

Peter Gotzsche, leader of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen and one of the researchers linked to the BMJ journal wrote, ‘I suggest we boycott Roche’s products until they publish missing Tamiflu data.’  He also suggests that governments should take legal action against Roche to get the money back that was ‘needlessly’ spent on stockpiling Tamiflu.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl disagrees that the absence of published research into the effectiveness of the flu drug is necessary and says that the WHO has enough proof to warrant its use for unusual influenza viruses, like bird flu. Critics say that if this data had shown Tamiflu was effective then this fact would have been widely publicized, the fact that it hasn’t shows that the data shows the opposite.

Roche says that they have released the data to public health authorities but will not be making it public because of patient confidentiality problems. Roche is currently being investigated by the European Medicines Agency for not properly reporting side effects, including possible deaths, for 19 drugs including Tamiflu that were used in about 80,000 patients in the U.S.

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