Cochrane review is a warning on clinical trial data
Commenting on the publication of the the Cochrane Review of Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) and Relenza (Zanamivir), Dr John Middleton, Vice President for Policy at FPH, said: "This should be a warning for us all about what happens when the full results of vital clinical trial data on medicines is not made public.
The 2009 flu pandemic was serious, and for some people, life-threatening. We put our trust in the government, Department of Health and everyone involved in health protection to make informed decisions on our behalf. They can only do so if they have access to all the data, which was not the case with Tamiflu.
This situation is a stark reminder of why we need checks and balances in place. We need a thorough review of how medicines like Tamiflu are evaluated and regulated. Researchers need to have access to all the available data in a timely way, in order to make sure that patients, doctors, and policy makers can be confident that data on new drugs have been rigorously and independently assessed. That is why FPH supports the Alltrails campaign.
Policymakers and government will now need to reconsider the role of antivirals for seasonal flu and plans for the use of antivirals in any future flu pandemic.
Written: 16/04/2014 , last modified: 16/04/2014