Roche hid clinical trial data that showed Tamiflu doesn't work for half a decade -- call on them and other drug companies to commit to transparency.
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Today researchers revealed that flu drug Tamiflu doesn’t actually work. And Roche, the giant pharmaceutical company behind it, hid this vital clinical trial data for half a decade.
Researchers from the Cochrane Review have been fighting for years to make Roche disclose its clinical testing data. And their analysis is stunning -- the drug has little or no effect. What’s more, it’s associated with increased nausea, vomiting and psychiatric episodes.
Governments wasted billions of dollars on useless stockpiles. But the bigger worry is that Roche acted completely legally. Clinical trial data on drugs we use every day is routinely withheld from patients, doctors and researchers. Right now, with the spotlight squarely on secrecy and corruption in clinical trials, we have a chance to push for desperately-needed transparency.
Call on pharmaceutical companies to end the secrecy and commit to transparency on clinical trials now.
The Cochrane research network, which published the research along with the British Medical Journal, is the global gold standard in drug reviews. They described trying to obtain the information as a “game of cat and mouse” -- Roche made denials, offered excuses, and demanded absolute secrecy in return for handing over the data.
More than half a decade later, Roche finally gave in -- but not before governments around the world spent billions on stockpiles of the drug at the height of worry about H1N1.
This isn’t the first time a drug company has tried to cover up test results. Companies like Roche have been able to get away with hiding data for decades. But such an explosive report won’t go unnoticed. It’s a chance to put pressure on the industry to finally clean up its act.
Tell the pharmaceutical industry commit to transparency on clinical trials now.
Thanks for everything you do,
Hanna and the SumOfUs team
Researchers, regulators and Roche row over stockpiled drug Tamiflu, Reuters, April 9 2014
What the Tamiflu saga tells us about drug trials and big pharma, The Guardian, April 10 2014
And the NZ officials who approved the spending of millions of our dollars on these useless drugs should be fired.
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