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Tamiflu drug co hides research into its ineffectiveness and dangers
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

9bn a year from the sale of Tamiflu, the world's major antidote to flu epidemics - but it's been hiding evidence that suggests the drug is not effective and could even damage the immune system

Drug giant Roche makes lb1.9bn a year from the sale of Tamiflu, the world's major antidote to flu epidemics - but it's been hiding evidence that suggests the drug is not effective and could even damage the immune system.
Tamiflu (oseltamivir) blocks the body's own natural defences against the flu virus, and increases the risk of vomiting in children. It's also little better than a placebo, or sugar pill, at preventing flu or reducing the length of the illness.
But this new evidence came to light only when researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration used freedom of information laws to force Roche to release data that had never been published.
Worse, the suppressed data even contradicts public pronouncements that Roche had made about Tamiflu, an anti-viral, including claims that the drug had no adverse effects and did not damage the immune system.
Governments around the world have been stock-piling supplies of Tamiflu to give to key workers in the event of a flu epidemic. The UK government has bought enough Tamiflu, and Relenza, another anti-viral, to give to half the nation. Roche made lb1.9bn from global sales of Tamiflu in 2009.
(Source: Cochrane Collaboration, January 18, 2012; doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008965.pub3).


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