Unproven and Potentially Harmful: Why is Tamiflu Still Widely Used?
In lockstep with public relation fear campaigns, launched and directed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during flu seasons lurks another bad actor in the form of a dangerous antiviral medication named Tamiflu. Given almost by reflex action by most hospitals and clinics, Tamiflu and the flu shot are the limited solution one-two punch of failed, untested, and dangerous options. Local headlines continue to be made telling of severe adverse reactions and deaths from Tamiflu shortly after it is given to children at hospitals around America. Is Tamiflu safe? The US Food and Drug Administration thought so when it approved the drug for use in 1999. However, during the H1N1 false pandemic, Tamiflu saw a surge in use after the CDC-WHO-corporate media triad successfully engaged their fear campaign. From that surge in Tamiflu use, studies began to emerge showing the drug was anything but safe. However, even before the H1N1 scare, studies began to poke large holes in Tamiflu’s safety and effectiveness purported by the FDA and its drug maker Genentech.
A 2007 study looking at Tamiflu (oseltamivir) found the following point:
“In summary, there is no firm evidence that antiviral prophylaxis reduces the rate of influenza complications in children.”
The study concluded by stating:
“In practice, oseltamivir is not sufficiently effective or safe for the prevention of influenza in children, which does not justify its use other than in clinical trials.”
A 2009 study found oseltamivir treatment in children resulted in 51 percent experiencing adverse reactions when researchers looked at a ten-day school closure and subsequent mass Tamiflu treatment of all pupils due to one laboratory-confirmed student. The study concluded by stating:
“The burden of side effects needs to be considered when deciding on mass oseltamivir chemoprophylaxis in children especially given that the symptoms of A(H1N1)v influenza are generally mild.”
A 2011 Japanese study looking at the country’s H1N1 Tamiflu response found 119 deaths after Tamiflu was prescribed, 38 deteriorated within 12 hours and 28 within 6 hours. The study concluded by warning:
“These data suggest Tamiflu use could induce sudden deterioration leading to death especially within 12 hours of prescription. These findings are consistent with sudden deaths observed in a series of animal toxicity studies, several reported case series and the results of prospective cohort studies. From”the precautionary principle”the potential harm of Tamiflu should be taken into account and further detailed studies should be conducted.”
It wasn’t until 2014 when one of the world’s most trust independent health research bodies turned their attention towards Tamiflu. For six years the Cochrane Nordic Institute Research Group reviewed more than 160,000 pages of regulatory documents in order to examine the full picture. The Cochrane Review published in April 2014 is based on full internal reports of 20 Tamiflu and 26 Relenza trials. These trials involved more than 24,000 people and the findings challenge the historical assumption that neuraminidase inhibitors (NIs) such as Tamiflu are effective in combating influenza.
Speaking on the report titled Tamiflu and Relenza: Getting the full evidence picture, Dr David Tovey, Editor-in-Chief of The Cochrane Library said:
“We now have the most robust, comprehensive review on neuraminidase inhibitors that exists. Initially thought to reduce hospitalizations and serious complications from influenza, the review highlights that [NIs are] not proven to do this, and it also seems to lead to harmful effects that were not fully reported in the original publications. This shows the importance of ensuring that trial data are transparent and accessible.”
The trend of stockpiling drugs such as Tamiflu increased dramatically following the fake outbreak of H1N1 in April 2009. It was initially believed that the drugs would reduce hospital admissions and complications of influenza, such as pneumonia, during influenza outbreaks. Over a decade of research has said otherwise. Why are hospitals still using Tamiflu and other similar drugs by reflex action when they have been proven to be ineffective at best?