Oseltamivir under scrutiny from BMJ, Cochrane

The BMJ has published its own investigation of how Tamiflu has risen to prominence, including claims that its manufacturer, Roche, reneged on a promise to provide potentially crucial unpublished trial data.

The online article, coinciding with publication of the latest Cochrane systematic review of data on neuraminidase inhibitors, questions why billions of dollars are being spent around the world to stockpile these drugs when their efficacy cannot be proved.

The Cochrane reviewers say despite reviewing 22,000 pages of data previously seen only by regulatory authorities, and departing from the usual  protocol of reviewing published trials, their conclusions were still “necessarily tentative”.

“We cannot be certain whether the trial evidence supports the conclusion that oseltamivir reduces complications [such as pneumonia],” they wrote.

Tens of thousands of pages of clinical study data are still