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Tamiflu is useless

Governments around the world spent billions stockpiling Tamiflu as fear over H1N1 spread. But new evidence suggests the drug could be pretty useless– something we at Nutrition & Healing have been saying all along.

HIN1 is out there. It could strike at any time. And the effects could be devastating. But you’re prepared–you’ve got your Tamiflu.

At least that’s what Big Pharma wants you to believe.

They want you to believe that Tamiflu could prevent many of the complications from the flu, all this time the mainstream has been attacking (I’m sorry–protecting you from) natural flu treatments, calling them “snake oil.”

Turns out, Tamiflu could be the real snake oil (surprise, surprise).

As fears over HIN1 built, governments around the world started stockpiling Tamiflu, to the tune of billions of dollars, based on reports that the drug could prevent pneumonia or other complications in otherwise healthy people.

As H1N1 fears were building at the end of this summer, I wrote to you about the harmful side effects of Tamiflu use in children–side effects deemed too serious to outweigh the “meager benefits” (“Tamiflu and kids–harms outweigh the benefits,” 8/17/2009).

But now it seems it could be pretty useless in adults, too.

A new review has come out in the British Medical Journal– and the results aren’t good for the makers of Tamiflu. Researchers analyzed 20 studies on the benefits and adverse effects of Tamiflu.

In a somewhat frightening side note, the researchers had trouble getting data from trial authors and Roche, the company that makes Tamiflu. In fact, 8 unpublished studies were unavailable to them. Wonder what exactly was in those studies?

Still, they concluded that they have “no confidence in claims that Tamiflu reduces the risk of complications of influenza in otherwise healthy adults.”

They also noted that previous evidence about Tamiflu’s effectiveness could be unreliable. And now they’re urging governments to pay close attention in monitoring the safety of Tamiflu use.

This could get ugly. Remember the stories of groups of people being given Tamiflu before H1N1 even hit? How long before we find out exactly what harm was done?

Of course, the World Health Organization doesn’t plan on changing guidelines for administering Tamiflu to people at high risk of complications from H1N1, even after being told it could be pointless.

Big surprise there. Why base guidelines on sound scientific evidence when you can base them on wishful thinking instead?

Sources:
“Review Questions Tamiflu’s Effectiveness,” Medline Plus (www.nlm.nih.gov).
“Health Buzz: Tamiflu May Not Do Much Good in Many Adults and Other Health News,” US News (health.usnews.com).