ROCHE-SPONSORED TAMIFLU (OSELTAMIVIR) META-ANALYSIS PUBLISHED IN LANCET (FEB 2015)

BACKGROUND: Governments around the world have spent billions of dollars stockpiling Tamiflu in case of an influenza pandemic. Tamiflu is on the World Health Organization's list of "essential" drugs. The CDC recommends treatment with Tamiflu be considered in any patient who presents with flu-like symptoms regardless of confirmatory influenza testing (CDC website). Given such endorsements, it's not surprising that Tamiflu is widely prescribed in the U.S. during the winter months.

Most of the trials evaluating the effectiveness of Tamiflu are industry-sponsored and have never been published. In 2011, the Cochrane Collaboration requested all the study data pertaining to Tamiflu from Roche, the drug's manufacturer. Roche balked, and over the next four years, a battle ensued that involved the British Medical Journal, Roche, and the European Medicines Agency (the European version of the FDA). Finally, in 2013, Roche agreed to release the data to the Cochrane Collaboration. The Cochrane Collaboration performed a meta-analysis on the data, and in 2014, the analysis was published.


After the Cochrane findings, Roche decided to fund their own Tamiflu meta-analysis. To do so, they created a "foundation" called the "Multiparty Group for Advice on Science" (MUGAS). MUGAS was headed by four people, two of whom received fees and funding from Roche. The Roche foundation even has its own website - MUGAS website. Findings from the MUGAS meta-analysis are presented below.

Roche-sponsored Tamiflu meta-analysis, Lancet 2015 [PubMed abstract]


StraightHealthcare analysis: