Swine flu drug useless?

Stating that Tamiflu manufacturer, Roche, had withheld trial data, the Cochrane Review, published in the British Medical Journal yesterday (9/12/09), reported that Tamiflu shots, far from being the life saving vaccine it was promoted as, had only a modest effect upon flu symptoms, simply reducing, on average, illness by a single day.

The report concluded that antivirals should not be used in routine control of influenza, normal or swine varieties, and was tellingly silent on their use in a pandemic.

There was also no reliable evidence to support the manufacturer's claims that Tamiflu would reduce hospital admission or complications like pneumonia or bronchitis.

In 2005 there was a previous review of Tamiflu trials, which demonstrated that of 10 trials, all were funded by Roche and written by employees or paid academic consultants. Two studies appeared in peer reviewed journals.

Editor of the British Medical Journal, Dr Fiona Godlee, stated, 'Governments around the world have spent billions of pounds on a drug that the scientific community now finds itself unable to judge'.

Taken from Damning review of swine flu drug, The Age, 10/12/09, and posted 10/12/09

See also Swine Flu Vaccinations - Beware

Comment
This raises the question of how drug trials should be run in order to get meaningful results. Clearly the manufacturer needs to bear the cost of research and trials, which may be seen as tainted because the manufacturer has paid for it.

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