Critics have long questioned the effectiveness of Roche and GlaxoSmithKline's flu drugs, asking whether their benefits justify the estimated $2 billion spent to stockpile them for potential epidemics. Now, heading into flu season, scientists have an answer: No one knows.
Natco Pharma won another battle in its quest to knock down patent barriers to its generic drugs, this time for a version of the Gilead Sciences' influenza treatment, Tamiflu (oseltamivir).
India's CDSCO has requested local regulators to update a 2009 list of the names of pharmacies that are licensed to sell, stock or distribute oseltamavir phosphate (Tamiflu) in India in an effort to facilitate access to medications to combat swine flu (H1N1).
India health authorities have threatened to close pharmacies in the country that fail to maintain an adequate supply of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or its generics to treat an outbreak of H1N1 influenza.
SINGAPORE-- Hong Kong health facilities say a monthlong outbreak of H3N2 influenza has drained their supply of the drug they use for treatment, Roche's Tamiflu.
A significant new study of Roche's blockbuster flu fighter Tamiflu has found that, while it has side effects, it can reduce symptoms by a day and keep some patients out of the hospital with complications, Reuters reports.
The flu season's most common viral strain has mutated, meaning this year's shots may not fully protect against it. But the so-called "drifted" strain may open up an opportunity for antiviral makers like Roche's Genentech and GlaxoSmithKline, with the CDC urging earlier use of anti-flu drugs to combat potentially severe symptoms.
Back in April, a study conducted by the nonprofit Cochrane Group suggested that the $2 billion worth of Roche's Tamiflu and other flu fighters stockpiled by the U.S. and the U.K. has essentially amounted to money thrown down the drain. Now Roche is fighting back, claiming the Cochrane researchers failed to include all the relevant data and furthermore didn't seem to understand how Tamiflu works.
Just weeks after Roche released data backing its claim that its hit drug Tamiflu saved lives during the H1N1 swine flu epidemic of 2009, a new study finds no evidence that the product stops the spread of the flu or reduces its complications.
Governments around the world have been stockpiling Roche's Tamiflu to protect their citizens in the event of a flu pandemic--a practice that has been questioned by critics who say there's not enough evidence the drug works. Now, Roche has fresh data showing Tamiflu saved lives during the H1N1 swine flu outbreak of 2009.