It's being reported that the swine-flu drug, Tamiflu, is under scrutiny as more and more side-effects have been reported to the MHRA. The Daily Star is claiming that 14 new adverse reactions were added to the drug’s profile in November including back, joint and muscle aches, fever, menstrual pain, herpes, sinusitis and earache.
A small price to pay to fend off a killer virus, which was basically a different strain of the flu.
The MHRA, the agency that regulate the drugs you and I take, have claimed that the benefits of taking Tamiflu outweigh any risks, a standard response when their regulation is put into question.
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche, who manufacture Tamiflu, are themselves the subject of an investigation regarding claims that they withheld vital data about the effectiveness of Tamiflu from scientists.
The Cochrane Collaboration, an independent watchdog who are not funded by the pharmaceutical industry [unlike the MHRA] have announced that a report, to be published on January 18 shows how their investigation was hindered by Roche’s refusal to provide full clinical data. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism writes:
This claim was made public today by one of the founders of the Cochrane Collaboration at a British Medical Journal conference held in London.
Other Cochrane reviewers are to reassert this claim in a further article due to be published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS). In the article, three of the Cochrane reviewers write:
‘In December 2009, after we voiced serious concerns in the BMJ about Tamiflu’s alleged ability to reduce compliations, Roche wrote that it was ‘very happy to have its data reviewed by the appropriate authority or individuals’ and publicly pledged to release 10 ‘full study reports’ in the ‘coming days’”. They went on to state that “despite extensive correspondence over the next year and a half Roche refused to provide any more than portions of the clinical study reports.’The MHRA were recently in the news for failing to respond quickly enough to faulty PIP breast implants. They have also been criticised for sending out information to UK healthcare professionals regarding SSRi withdrawal and, it appears, have informed doctor's of the existence of SSRi withdrawal "specialists" when no such specialists actually exist. [LINK]
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