Flu drug not very effective

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Josh Bloom, Medical Progress Today 11/27/12, "Tami-flu the Coop? "

Roche has recently been taking considerable heat for not providing certain clinical data on Tamiflu (oseltamivir), its flu drug that has been on the market since 1999. During the 2009 H1N1 flu scare, hospitals, governments and many individuals were panic buying it, and some of them are not too happy about spending a load of money on something that doesn't work very well.

If taken within the first two days of coming down with the flu, Tamiflu seems to knock off about one day (7 days down to 6) of the illness. It may also have some effect in reducing symptoms, but this is not clear. It also has some fairly nasty side effects. Given all of this, I have always considered it to be a marginal drug at best.

And if it wasn't especially effective before, it is becoming even less so now. To understand why, one needs to know a little about how viruses work...[Read more].