Drugs giant Roche accused of sitting on trial data for flu treatment [View all]
The pharmaceutical giant Roche is being accused of irresponsibly withholding key trial data about a vital flu drug on which governments around the world have spent billions of pounds.
The anti-flu drug Tamiflu has been stockpiled by countries against the outbreak of a flu pandemic since 2004. The UK alone has spent £500m.
Yesterday, the British Medical Journal launched a campaign to persuade Roche to give doctors and patients the full data on Tamiflu, three years after doubts about its safety and efficacy emerged.
In 2009, researchers from the Cochrane Collaboration found that results of eight out of 10 key trials of Tamiflu were never fully published and concluded there was "insufficient data" to show it reduced complications – a vital factor in a pandemic which could save lives.