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article imageTamiflu research questioned

By Tim Sandle     Apr 26, 2014 in Health
Scientists claim that analysis of the antiviral medication Tamiflu, which claims that the medication didn't work, was statistically weak and based on unreliable randomized clinical trial data.
Earlier this month the Digital Journal reported that hundreds of millions of dollars may have been wasted in the U.K. on a drug for flu that works no better than paracetamol, according to a new scientific report. The report had been issued by The Cochrane Collaboration.
However, the results of the Cochrane group are now being challenged. Jonathan Nguyen-Van-Tam from the University of Nottingham (U.K.) has criticized the Cochrane analysis. His own recent meta-analysis published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine that found neuraminidase inhibitors like Tamiflu to be effective in reducing mortality in hospital-admitted H1N1 patients.
Other researchers have pointed out that the analyses were based on randomized clinical trial data and could, according to Nature News “lack sufficient statistical power to allow reliable conclusions to be drawn about the effects on flu complications and hospitalizations.”
Tamiflu is the trade name for a drug called oseltamivir. The medication is is an antiviral intended to prevent or slow the spread of influenza A and influenza B (flu) virus between cells in the body by stopping the virus from chemically cutting ties with its host cell. The medication was developed by pharma company Roche and it is marketed by a company Genentech.
It seems that the debate over the effectiveness or otherwise of Tamiflu is set to run for sometime yet.
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