The Guardian fumes:

Roche, the manufacturer of Tamiflu, has made it impossible for scientists to assess how well the anti-flu drug stockpiled around the globe works by withholding the evidence the company has gained from trials, doctors alleged today .

A major review of what data there is in the public domain has found no evidence Tamiflu can prevent healthy people with flu from suffering complications such as pneumonia.

Roche has made a fortune out of the drug, with sales of £1.6bn this year alone. The British government has stockpiled enough for half the population. “Governments around the world have spent billions of pounds on a drug that the scientific community now finds itself unable to judge,” said Dr Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal.

  1. Mark T. says:

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you! Profiteering on government fueled hysteria?! How can this possible happen? <— (sarcasm)

    I wonder how many CDC employees own Roche Laboratories stock.

  2. R.O.P. says:

    Duh…just ask Adam Curry.

  3. kjackman says:

    Right. So, let’s summarize, shall we?

    * Tamiflu won’t release raw flu drug data: It’s a scam!

    * CRU at East Anglia won’t release raw temperature and proxy data: No big deal, this is standard operating procedure, quit bellyaching.


    If scientists ever want to be taken seriously again, they’d better start subjecting their data to public scrutiny, pronto. And if AGW true believers ever want to be taken seriously, they’d be well-advised to stop sweeping the CRU problem under the rug.

    Yeah, I know this isn’t an AGW thread. Just galls me to see you guys treating the same damn problem completely differently when it’s a drug company doing it. Bite me, hypocrites.

  4. jollycynic says:

    As I understand it, tamiflu’s MOA is that it alters the cellular permeability of already infected cells, helping to inhibit the release of new viral particles. So, it would seem that (as far as I know, please correct me if you know more) the drug is indicated in curbing disease progression in the already infected. It’s ability to prevent infection would depend largely on the drug’s half life as near as I can figure (as in, how long does it remain active) because if it doesn’t inhibit spread long enough then the disease can proliferate after it wears off.
    I’m just musing off the top of my head and a bottle of Jameson here though.

  5. Troublemaker says:

    Claim: U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld owns stock in the company that makes Tamiflu.

    Status: True

  6. Rick Cain says:

    Yeah and I remember the good old days when Amantidine worked on the flu too. The flu is a moving target, I doubt Tamiflu will do anything in 10 years.

  7. sargasso says:

    #7. my bet is 10 months, at the current rate of patient self medication and overdosing.

  8. If its not global warming its H5n1
    What ever happened to Bird Flu ?

  9. jescott418 says:

    Even my doctor did not perscribe it to me.
    Said it was expensive and did not reduce the time of symtoms enough to warrant its costs.

  10. bobbo, pop culture and the Roman Circus says:

    So everything is a scam?

    Lets see………………

    Can anyone think of an issue that everyone agrees on?

    How about an issue where the solution involves denying/costing ourselves something today to avoid a larger cost/damage to our kiddies? Any such issue we have identified and there is 90% agreement we should take action???

    Me neither.

    I wish I could play the guitar.

  11. Mr Diesel says:

    I wish you could play it too so you could serenade the idiots on this blog.

  12. Macbandit says:


    Is this the year of conspiracies?

  13. JimR says:

    If there is a decision being made based on a claim that our public (especially our kiddies, our elderly or any other disadvantaged or innocent target group) are in danger, and the solution requires a substantial financial deficit that our kiddies will be saddled with in their future, on top of the trillions they have to pay back now because of OUR indiscretions… then I think it is more than reasonable to expect that all unaltered data pertaining to that claim be made public after it is collected and processed, so that ANY independent analyst can verify that claim.

    What reaction do you expect when the data is kept secret? What reaction do you expect when the data has been found to be compromised by omissions and manipulation?

    I would expect a full gamut of reactions from stubborn denial, to a healthy suspicion. To staunchly claim that the data is still 90%… or ANY percent accurate, without any basis in fact is irrational.

    Is the western world so wealthy that you can throw money away at a staggering rate without double checking the facts, when double checking is warranted? Just show us the f*cking data. It won’t slow down the process any more than argument is already slowing it down. Is the future generation… our kiddies… going to be so wealthy… are their jobs so safe… is the economy so stable… that we shouldn’t bother to check the FACTS behind our huge expenditures?

    We at least owe THAT to our children.

  14. FRAGaLOT says:

    Ah over priced placebos!
    Mmmmmm sugar!


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