Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Allegations That Tamiflu Useless

On the front page of the Arizona Republic was an article titled “UK Experts Say Tamiflu is Ineffective” by Maria Cheng Nov 13, 2012 A1, A4.

The article explains that [excerpted] “a leading British medical journal is asking drug maker Roche to release all its data on Tamiflu, claiming there is no evidence the drug can actually stop the flu.” [end excerpt]

The article goes to state that governments all over the world have been stocking up on Tamiflu (i.e., buying large amounts of it) in preparation for a flu epidemic, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

A group of researchers in Denmark – conducting research for the British government - claim that those governments who stocked up on Tamiflu should sue the maker of Tamiflu (Roche), because the researchers found that the drug has no medical benefits and it does have side effects.

The article notes that [excerpt] “Roche is also 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 US.” [end excerpt]

Unfortunately, Tamiflu may be one of those drugs that “don’t work as advertised.”

Governments seeking to reduce the risks of an epidemic may potentially increase mortality by issuing a drug – Tamiflu – with possible side effects, including death. How is that for a side effect?

We don’t know the end of this story, but it is very unusual for a medical journal to call for a drug company to release its data and even more unusual for researchers to encourage governments to sue corporations for purchasing ineffectual drugs.

And a “side effect” of death is rather alarming.

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