Study Says Gov't Wasted Billions on Flu Drugs that Won't Stop Pandemics

Cochrane Collaboration, an independent network of research scientists, has said that governments who stockpile Roche's flu medicine Tamiflu and GlaxoSmithKline's drug Relenza are wasting billions of dollars on a drugs with doubtful effectiveness.

Scientists reviewed trial data on Tamiflu and Relenza, determining that while the medicines can shorten flu symptoms by around half a day, there is no evidence behind claims the drugs cut hospital admissions or lessen flu complications.

The review's overall findings were that the medicines had few if any beneficial effects, but did have previously overlooked adverse side effects.

Reuters reports that the U.S. has spent more than $1.3 billion buying a strategic reserve of antivirals including Tamiflu, and according to the Guardian, the UK government has spent $711 million buying stocks of Tamiflu and $228 million on Relenza in case of a flu pandemic.

Read the Reuters press release

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