Study demands Roche back Tamiflu efficacy

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Study demands Roche back Tamiflu efficacyResearchers with the British Medical Journal believe the popular flu vaccine Tamiflu is not effective at all at preventing the onset of influenza.

According to an AP report this week, the leading Euro medical journal BMJ has demanded that the makers of Tamiflu, Roche, produce evidence that shows the vaccine is effective at preventing flu. If this is true and there is no evidence that points to Tamiflu actually being a preventative vaccine, it would billions of people worldwide have been given doses of the drug in the past for no reason other than to allay their worry.

Tamiflu is the most popular flu vaccine and in the last decade, governments worldwide have bombarded Roche with orders for the drug as they look to stockpile it against the onset of another potential flu or flu-like pandemic that sends millions seeking these vaccines.

According to the report on the BMJ-endorsed journal entry, Peter Gotzsche of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark, said the public should “boycott” Tamiflu altogether and urged the governments of Europe to sue Roche to get their money back on the “needless” stockpiling of the vaccine they’ve done in the past.

Sales of Tamiflu spiked as demand reached a peak in the 2009 H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic worldwide, especially in the U.S.

Despite this journal entry in BMJ, other evidence suggests Tamiflu must be providing some benefits. The World Health Organization listed it recently as an “essential” drug and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend it or Relenza as one of two flu vaccines.

Roche has never released trial data on Tamiflu but a company spokesperson told AP that it stands behind the safety and efficacy of the popular vaccine.