ibnlive » India

Jan 23, 2012 at 11:23am IST

Doubts raised over Swine flu wonder cure

Mumbai: Billions of dollars were spent by countries across the world in stockpiling Tamiflu during the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic. India was one of 80 countries to stockpile the medication - buying 30 million doses. But now, a two year review done by the renowned Cochrane Collaboration has raised serious questions on the efficacy and safety of the drug.

A team of international researchers went through more than 16,000 pages of clinical trial data used to approve mass prescriptions of Tamiflu and found that many cases of the side effects of the drug went unreported.

While Tamiflu did have 'a little effect on people who took it within the first two days of contracting H1N1 - there was no evidence that it reduced the number of people who went on to need hospital treatment.'

That's not the worst of it - researchers allege that data from six out of ten human clinical trials done by Swiss Based Roche was not made public.

When CNN-IBN contacted Roche, the pharma company had this to say, "Roche has made full clinical study data available to health authorities and it is the role of authorities to review information on medicines when assessing benefit/risk."

It's a clouded diagnosis on Tamiflu, which is listed as an essential drug by the World Health Organisation.

Cochrane Collaboration has made some serious allegations against the World Health organisation's role during the Swine Flu pandemic.

"It has come up that the people who wrote the guidelines for WHO in the beginning of the last decade - for early pandemics, set the tone for the rest of the policy making, most of them have links with pharma firms. Indeed, some of them were members of pharma funded, pressure groups," Cochrane Collaboration Lead Researcher Tom Jefferson said.