10 August 2009


Some interesting research published today by scientists at Oxford University who have surveyed seven research studies on the effectiveness of Tamiflu and/or Relenza (the main antiviral flu drugs) and found that Tamiflu reduced the length of time children displayed symptoms by one day on average, but increased the likelihood of vomiting.

Obviously there's no miracle cure for swine flu (otherwise we wouldn't need to develop a vaccine so quickly) but the results from this drug that the government is relying on so much do seem to be pretty crap. Could it be that the whole Tamiflu schtick is a result of lobbying by pharmaceuticals giant Roche, who are making a tidy packet from sales of the drug? More investigation is warranted.

(Disclaimer: I haven't read the Oxford study itself - I've only seen the coverage on C4 News and some of the broadsheets - so I've no idea whether the story was accurately reported. Since reading Ben Goldacre's "Bad Science" I've become extremely suspicious of even the so-called 'quality' media's reports on science stories - and I was already fairly suspicious to start off with. I hope Ben covers this story on his blog so we can get deeper investigation.)

1 comment:

2ND.FADE said...

hmm... it would be interesting to compare the efficacy and economics of both the vaccine and tamiflu...