You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Ohio House budget proposal would eliminate Municipal Clerk’s office

Is stockpiling Tamiflu a waste of government money?


Governments around the world have spent billions of dollars stockpiling drugs to fight flu pandemics, and this week an independent review shows all that money might have been a waste.

In new studies by The Cochrane Collaboration and the British Medical Journal, researchers say the drug Tamiflu doesn't fight the flu much more effectively than regular, over-the-counter Tylenol.

"The effectiveness has been overplayed and the harms underplayed, which really must bring into question the decision to stockpile the drug and the continuing guidance from WHO to do so."

>> Read more trending stories  

The findings came after doctors and scientists pressured Tamiflu's manufacturer Roche into releasing all of its clinical trial data, much of which had been kept secret.

For years, Tamiflu has been touted as the only anti-viral capable of stopping the spread of the flu virus. Governments bought up the drug after 2005's bird flu scare and 2009's swine flu pandemic. (Via Vimeo / Olive Make-Up Artistry)

Specifically, the U.S. government spent around $1.3 billion and the U.K. government spent around $700 million. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Alcibiades)

And while the studies do show some modest effects, the researchers say Tamiflu just doesn't do what governments bought it for.

First, the good news for the drug: it has been shown to reduce flu symptoms and shorten the duration of those symptoms, but only by around half a day on average. And it works best on patients who are sickest. Now the bad news: it has plenty of side effects, like nausea, vomiting and even psychiatric problems, it doesn't affect the worst complications of the disease like pneumonia, the effects in children are inconclusive and it doesn't do much to stop the spread of the disease person-to-person — which was the whole point. (Via Tamiflu.com)

So why are we just finding this out now, instead of back when the drugs were being reviewed? One of the doctors involved in the report says this whole episode points to big problems in how drug trials are handled.

Writing in The Guardian, Ben Goldacre says, "The bigger scandal is that Roche broke no law by withholding vital information on how well its drug works. 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."

Roche said in a statement that it disagrees with the report's conclusions and that Tamiflu is a useful medicine and a vital part of preparing for pandemics. One spokesperson also pointed out to the BBCTamiflu has been approved by dozens of regulators around the world.

"When I look at that in that context versus one report ... that is a significant body of expertise that have looked at our data and share the same position that we do.

The CDC and the World Health Organization both still recommend the use of Tamiflu for fighting flu outbreaks.

See more at newsy.com.  



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation World

Recall: 42K pounds of ready-to-eat chicken undercooked
Recall: 42K pounds of ready-to-eat chicken undercooked

DECATUR, Ala. -- More than 42,000 pounds of chicken are being recalled after several people complained that the ready-to-eat chicken was undercooked, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. In a recall notice, officials said WFSP Foods in Decatur, Alabama, received several customer complaints...
Nordstrom selling work jeans covered in fake mud for $425 
Nordstrom selling work jeans covered in fake mud for $425 

  After it was ridiculed for selling designer rocks at Christmas, Nordstrom may have topped itself with its latest offer. The department store is offering a pair of jean covered in fake mud for a whopping $425. The retailer described its new Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans on its website as "rugged Americana workwear that's seen some hard-working...
Pit bull breaks from chain, mauls man to death
Pit bull breaks from chain, mauls man to death

A man was mauled to death Tuesday in Dayton by a pit bull, authorities said.  Dayton police were waiting Tuesday morning for a search warrant so they could enter a house near where the dogs were found.  >> Read more trending news  Three dogs were removed from the house after a dog fatally mauled a man who was walking in an...
New Carlisle dedicates new library wing in memory of Joan Steinlage
New Carlisle dedicates new library wing in memory of Joan Steinlage

When Joan Steinlage took her little girls to the old New Carlisle Public Library on the corner of Main and Madison streets, she wanted to instill in them a love of reading. She accomplished that and she also took the first steps in a lifelong commitment that would change New Carlisle forever. With her characteristic enthusiasm this mother got involved...
WWI 100 years later: Australians mark ANZAC Day at Air Force museum
WWI 100 years later: Australians mark ANZAC Day at Air Force museum

One by one, they laid red poppies next to three wreaths to remember the fallen of Australia and New Zealand. In the year marking the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I, about 100 people, some wearing the uniforms of foreign militaries marked ANZAC Day, commemorating the first major battle Australian and New Zealand troops fought in...
More Stories