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1 January 2015

JAMA republishes an article from The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics Concludes “Chemoprophylaxis with antiviral drugs is not recommended for healthy persons exposed to influenza. A neuraminidase inhibitor, either oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Antiviral Drugs for Seasonal Influenza 2014-2015. JAMA 2015; 313(4): 41314.

Roche funded IPD meta-analysis (Dobson et al) published in Lancet – covering editorial refers to as “independent” contested by neuriminidase authors:

3 February 2015

Tools for Practice evaluates the evidence on clinically relevant primary care topics The Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP)’s Tools for Practice summarises the evidence (www.acfp.ca/tools-for-practice) so far.

5 February 2015

Family doctor, Paul Roblin, challenges the independence of the Dobson et al meta-analysis. Paul Roblin on Dobson et al’s Lancet Tamiflu reanalysis:  blogs.bmj.com

Lenzer documents citation bias in CDC statements on the use of antivirals and Roche funding of CDC’s “Take 3” campaign. Lenzer J. Why aren’t the US Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration speaking with one voice on flu? BMJ 2015; 350: h658. In May 2015 this is followed by: Lenzer J. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: protecting the private good?

1 March 2015

Cochrane reviewers summarise results of review. The authors subsequently published the underlying documents simultaneously with the Cochrane review, endorsing the concept of open science” Roche and Van Tam et al also publish articles in the same issue. Mark Jones, Tom Jefferson, Peter Doshi, Chris Del Mar, Carl Heneghan, Igho Onakpoya. Commentary on Cochrane review of Neuraminidase inhibitors for preventing and treating influenza in healthy adults and children. Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2015, 21, 217–221.

Roche respond: Clinch, B., Smith, J. Roche perspectives on Tamiflu. 
Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2015, 21, 226–229

J.S. Nguyen-Van-Tam, S. Venkatesan, S.G. Muthuri, P.R. Myles. Neuraminidase inhibitors: who, when, where? 
Clinical Microbiology and Infection 2015, 21, 222-225

3 March 2015

CDC continues recommending use of antivirals. View the latest guidance

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Catalyst documentary on Tamiflu. "Imagine a Hollywood doomsday scenario: a flu pandemic sweeps the world, hundreds of millions of people are infected. How prepared are we for a flu pandemic? Will our stockpiles of Tamiflu stop a pandemic in its tracks? Dr Maryanne Demasi investigates.” ABC Catalyst program.

19 March 2015

Imbalance of baseline renal function between oseltamivir and placebo group reported. Participants in five prophylaxis randomized controlled trials with high baseline creatinine level (154μmol/L or more) were significantly less reported  in the oseltamivir group than in the placebo group: pooled odds ratio was 0.29 (P = 0.005). Hama R, Jones M and Jefferson T. Concerns about the randomization in the prophylaxis trials of oseltamivir. Rapid response to Oseltamivir for influenza in adults and children: systematic review of clinical study reports and summary of regulatory comments.  BMJ 2014;348:g2545

16 June 2015

England's Chief Medical Officer calls for review after statins and Tamiflu storm, reports the Guardian:  “Coming on top of the debate about Tamiflu and the response to the ONS [Office for National Statistics] study on medication levels, there seems to be a view that doctors over-medicate, so it is difficult to trust them, and that clinical scientists are all beset by conflicts of interest from industry funding – and are therefore untrustworthy too. It cannot be in the interests of patients and the public’s health for this debate to continue as it is,” said the Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies.

England’s Chief Medical Officer asks for review of drug evaluation in wake of statins controversy, reports the BMJ and the BBC.

1 September 2015

Letter responses to Dobson et al published in Lancet. A series of responses to Dobson et al  meta-analyses of individual patient published in the Lancet including concerns over the methods. Oseltamivir for influenza. Lancet 2015; 386: 113336.(9999):11345. Doi: 10.1016/S01406736(15)002020. Oseltamivir for influenza. Peter Doshi, Carl Heneghan, Tom Jefferson.; Oseltamivir for influenza. Mark Jones, Rokuro Hama, Chris Del Mar.; Oseltamivir for influenza.Arnold S Monto, Joanna Dobson, Stuart Pocock, Richard J Whitley.

2 September 2015

The Conversation publishes a piece on the Tamiflu story. This draws several comments. Cochrane reviewer Jefferson points out McVernon’s attempts at blurring the Dobson authors’ conflicts of interest as well as her own. McVernon does not respond, despite two further reminders.

8 October 2015

Academy of Medical Sciences and Wellcome Trust publish report exploring the scientific evidence around the treatment of influenza, including the use of existing antivirals, research priorities, methodological improvements and the pipeline of new treatments . The report laments the uncertainty over the evidence base of NIs and the failure to carry out research during the 2009 influenza pandemic. 
Use of neuraminidase inhibitors in influenza, Academy of Medical Sciences and Wellcome Trust, October 2015.

Guardian: Experts call for tests on use of flu drugs in pandemic

28 October 2015

Doshi P, Jefferson T post  Concerns about this article and a further response Neuraminidase Inhibitors and Influenza Infection. JAMA Intern Med. 2016

October 2015

JAMA publishes viewpoint on using observational studies.
Treating Influenza With Neuraminidase Inhibitors: What Is the Evidence? JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Oct 19;1.