Navigation Links
Review Questions Tamiflu's Effectiveness

Finds no proof the drug prevents flu complications such as pneumonia

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- No evidence exists that the widely used influenza drug Tamiflu prevents pneumonia or other complications in otherwise healthy patients who come down with the flu, a new review contends.

Claims about the effectiveness of the antiviral drug against flu-related complications have influenced governments worldwide to stockpile Tamiflu (oseltamivir) as part of their preparations for a global pandemic, the review authors said.

"Governments around the world have spent billions of [dollars] on a drug that the scientific community now finds itself unable to judge," said Dr. Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, which published the article online Wednesday. The review was done by BMJ and Channel 4 News in Great Britain.

The authors of the new review, which updates a review published in 2006, analyzed 20 published clinical trials of Tamiflu that examined prevention, treatment and adverse reactions. However, the analysis was hampered by the "paucity of good data" available from the trial authors and Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, the study authors said.

This meant the review authors couldn't verify the results of eight important trials that were never fully published. These eight trials, which were included in the previous review, were omitted from the new review.

Based on the data available to them, the authors of the new review concluded they have "no confidence in claims that Tamiflu reduces the risk of complications of influenza in otherwise healthy adults," and said the drug should not be used in routine control of seasonal flu.

Because previous evidence about Tamiflu's effects on flu complications may be unreliable, governments should establish studies to monitor the safety of Tamiflu and other neuraminidase inhibitors, said review leader Chris Del Marr, a professor at Bond University in Australia, and colleagues.

The review findings call into question "not only the effectiveness of oseltamivir but the whole system by which drugs are evaluated, regulated and promoted," Godlee and a BMJ colleague wrote in an accompanying editorial.

"Once a trial is completed, there needs to be ready access to the raw data behind any analyses used to license and market a drug," they said.

In response to the study, Roche officials said they "firmly believe in the robustness of the data" on Tamflu, and full access to trial data has been given to governments and regulatory authorities. The company also said it will make all study summaries of Tamiflu -- including key data -- available on a password-protected Web site, according to a BMJ news release.

The World Health Organization said Tuesday that data from countries around the world show that when given early, Tamiflu can reduce the severity of swine flu symptoms. Still, the agency recommends the drug be saved for people at risk of complications, such as pregnant women, the elderly, children, and those with chronic health problems, the Associated Press reported.

"This will not change our (Tamiflu) guidelines," said Charles Penn, a WHO antivirals expert.

Penn said that while previous studies have found that Tamiflu only offers a modest benefit, when patients with severe illness or those at risk of complications are treated early, fewer hospitalizations and deaths result, the AP said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about Tamiflu.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: BMJ, news release, Dec. 9, 2009; Associated Press

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. New review suggests caution on drugs to raise good cholesterol
2. Virginia Tech Review Panel Calls For Reform of Mental Health Treatment Law
3. Arbios Systems, Incs Q2/07 Analyst Review Issued by Scimitar Equity Research, Inc.
4. FDA Accepts New Drug Application for Priority Review of Investigational HIV Treatment TMC125
5. FDA Accepts New Drug Application for Priority Review of Investigational HIV Treatment TMC125
6. Peer-Reviewed, Online Database Showcases Local, County and State Pandemic Planning
7. InstaCare Corp. Reviewing M&A Plans
8. CCF Reviews Contents of SCHIP Reauthorization Bill Legislation Places SCHIP on Solid Path
9. Sunrise Provides Status Report on Special Independent Committee Investigation; Provides Updates on Managements Internal Control Review Efforts and on Legal Proceedings
10. Multicountry review shows that Bug Buster Kits reduce head lice and social stigma
11. MaxLife Fund Corp. retains the Law firm, Anslow & Jaclin, LLP of Manalapan, N.J., to review MaxLife Fund Corp. options to be listed on the NASDAQ Capital Market
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare ... participated in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was ... November 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... has collaborated with Women’s Web – an online resource for Indian women ... mental and emotional well-being relationship, life balance, stress, professional development, and lifestyle. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... more aggressive than those found on mammography, according to a study published online ... additional cancers not seen on mammography may necessitate a change in treatment. , ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... The holiday season ... and pleasing the palates of attendees is of the utmost importance. Whether you ... seasonal get-together, give these recipes a try this holiday season. , Turkey Croquettes ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Medical Solutions, one ... for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being named a ... Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th annual Greater ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 --> ... combineert immunotherapie met Bremachlorin-photodynamische therapie voor de ... ) --> ... ) Uit een ... (LUMC) blijkt dat ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons ... of Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country ... report to their offering. --> ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ... Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: