Your Health 11-13-12 Flu drug, Tamiflu in question - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Your Health 11-13-12 Flu drug, Tamiflu in question

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Some health experts are questioning the effectiveness of a widely-used flu drug that is touted to counter flu symptoms.

Experts at the British Medical Journal say there is no evidence that Tamiflu can actually stop the flu and drug maker Roche should release all its data on the drug.

The drug was widely used during the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

Many governments worldwide have stockpiled Tamiflu in case of a global flu outbreak.

In 2009, Cochrane Center scientists evaluated flu drugs and found no proof that Tamiflu reduced the number of complications in flu patients.

The Cochrane researchers and the British Medical Journal asked Roche to release all its Tamiflu data.

Roche released a statement saying it had complied with all legal requirements on publishing Tamiflu data and that it had given Cochrane researchers and its colleagues 3,200 pages of information about the drug.

In 2011, Tamiflu was included on a list of "essential medicine" by the World Health Organization, which recommended the drug be used to treat unusual influenza viruses such as bird flu.

A WHO spokesperson says the organization has substantive evidence it can stop or hinder progression to severe disease like pneumonia.

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