Multisystem failure: The story of antinfluenza drugs
Jefferson T., Doshi P.
For the past decade decision makers worldwide have endorsed the use of neuraminidase inhibitors. They spent billions of pounds stockpiling the two anti-influenza drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir from the mid-2000s as part of a global effort to be prepared for an influenza pandemic. When the H1N1 pandemic emerged in 2009 the drugs were rolled out around the globe for treatment and prevention of influenza and its complications. Under this spotlight, we were asked to conduct a systematic review for Cochrane to update evidence on their efficacy. What should have been a routine review got complicated as the validity of a key study that underpinned the evidence on efficacy was unclear. Our three and half year battle for data has resulted in the drug manufacturers providing us with full clinical study reports and unveiled a story in which no party has taken full responsibility for ensuring the validity of the evidence underlying its decisions. We hope that the publication of our systematic review of the trials, alongside all the source clinical study reports, will change the way such decisions are made. Copyright - Il Pensiero Scientifico Editore.