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Tamiflu: Millions wasted on flu drug, claims major report

By |April 10, 2014|Flu|

Source BBC News

 

The UK has spent £473m on Tamiflu, which is stockpiled by governments globally to prepare for flu pandemics.

The Cochrane Collaboration claimed the drug did not prevent the spread of flu or reduce dangerous complications, and only slightly helped symptoms.

The manufacturers Roche and other experts say the analysis is flawed.

The antiviral drug Tamiflu was stockpiled from 2006 in the UK when some agencies were predicting that a pandemic of bird flu could kill up to 750,000 people in Britain. Similar decisions were made in other countries.

Hidden data

The drug was widely prescribed during the swine flu outbreak in 2009.

Drug companies do not publish all their research data. This report is the result of a colossal fight for the previously hidden data into the effectiveness and side-effects of Tamiflu.

It concluded that the drug reduced the persistence of flu symptoms from seven days to 6.3 days in adults and to 5.8 days in children. But the report’s authors said drugs such as paracetamol could have a similar impact.

On claims that the drug prevented complications such as pneumonia developing, Cochrane suggested the trials were so poor there was “no visible effect”.

(more…)

New Canadian Studies Suggest Seasonal Fu Shot Increased H1N1 Risk

By |April 12, 2010|Flu|

Source SIDRAP

Despite a rapidly launched range of studies, investigators in Canada are still unable to say—or to rule out—whether receiving a seasonal flu vaccination in the 2008-09 season made it more likely that Canadians would become ill from 2009 pandemic H1N1 flu.

In a lengthy article published today in Public Library of Science Medicine (PLoSMed), researchers detail the results of four supplementary studies that were launched after an April 2009 school outbreak provided the first signal of an association between seasonal flu shots and pandemic flu illness. The studies, which took in about 2,700 people, found overall that the likelihood of needing medical attention for pandemic flu was 1.4 to 2.5 times greater among people who were vaccinated the previous fall. (more…)

WHO to examine its H1N1 response

By |January 18, 2010|Flu|

Source CBC News

The World Health Organization will review accusations it overstated the risks of the H1N1 virus.

The most recent complaints about WHO’s handling of the pandemic came from the Council of Europe, a political forum, where last week parliamentarian Wolfgang Wodarg called H1N1 a “false pandemic.” In November 2009, Dr. Richard Schabas, Ontario’s former chief medical officer of health, referred to it as a “dud pandemic.”

The European concern is that WHO may have overstated the dangers of the pandemic because of pressure from pharmaceutical companies that produce swine flu vaccines. (more…)