Make it up

BMJ this week

Why has this taken so long to come out. That, as suspected and lots of people have said oseltamavir (tamiflu) doesn’t work. Our government has spent 500 million so far on these drugs and a commitment to spend another 500 million.

Channel 4 and the BMJ questioned the veracity of the claims that oseltamavir would have efficacy in influenza – based on 10 drug company funded studies (only 2 published in peer review journals).

None of these studies actually dealt with the at risk groups (immunocompromised, pregnant, under 5s) who we have actually been giving oseltamavir.

The royal college of GPs went against Department of Health recommendations back at the beginning of the epidemic opting for a much more considered view, suggesting doctors use this old fashioned thing called clinical judgement instead of blanket prescribing. Other specialities (including my own) have followed suit.

I have prescribed it to one patient in the past 6 months. And they were critically ill. I don’ think it helped him but I figure if you’re sick enough to cost £1500 a day in ICU then you grasping at straws is perfectly justifiable.

So as usual the major shocking revelation is this:

Drug company buffs results from its own trials to make it look better than it is.

Oh wait, that’s not revelatory at all actually…

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