I can’t resist saying told you so on this one. I have written about the lack – and suspected withholding – of evidence Tamiflu worked several times over the years. But, well done to the Cochrane Collaboration for finally dragging the info out of the makers, however shocking it is that they had to be legally forced. Beggars belief.
Here are a couple of the media reports for you..
D. Telegraph 10.4.14 “DRUGS GIVEN FOR SWINE FLU ‘WERE WASTE OF £500 MILLION”
The Tamiflu injection, given to 240,000 people in UK does nothing to halt the spread of flu and the govt wasted nearly £500 million stockpiling it, a major study found. Oxford University claims that the drug manufacturer, Roche, gave a “false impression” of its effectiveness and accused Roche of “sloppy science.”
The Tamiflu injection has been linked to the suicides of children in Japan & could actually worsen flu. Cochrane Collaboration – a not for profit independent network of health practitioners, researchers and patient advocates – said that despite the injections there had been no reduction in hospital admissions, as Roche had claimed there would be. The side-effects of Tamiflu include kidney problems, vomiting, headaches, depression, & anxiety.
Guardian 10.4.14. “What the Tamiflu saga tells us about drug trials and big pharma”. (see link below)
We now know the government’s Tamiflu stockpile wouldn’t have done us much good in the event of a flu epidemic. But the secrecy surrounding clinical trials means there’s a lot we don’t know about other medicines we take. Today we found out that Tamiflu doesn’t work so well after all. Roche, the drug company behind it, withheld vital information on its clinical trials for half a decade, but the Cochrane Collaboration, a global not-for-profit organisation of 14,000 academics, finally obtained all the information.
Putting the evidence together, it has found that Tamiflu has little or no impact on complications of flu infection, such as pneumonia. That is a scandal because the UK government spent £0.5bn stockpiling this drug in the hope that it would help prevent serious side-effects from flu infection. But the bigger scandal is that Roche broke no law by withholding vital information on how well its drug works. (My emphasis). In fact, the methods and results of clinical trials on the drugs we use today are still routinely and legally being withheld from doctors, researchers and patients. It is simple bad luck for Roche that Tamiflu became, arbitrarily, the poster child for the missing-data story. And it is a great poster child. The battle over Tamiflu perfectly illustrates the need for full transparency around clinical trials, the importance of access to obscure documentation, and the failure of the regulatory system.
The bit that I can hardly believe even though, as I was reporting, people said this as early as 2009, is that Roche was perfectly legal in withholding vital trial information. How can Governments across the world be expected to assess the safety and efficacy of drugs like this if we can’t be certain of getting all the info. Pure profiteering, plain and simple.
Disgusted of Purehealth.