Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tamiflu works? Give us some proper data to believe in.

This morning's report by Bertha Henson and Salma Khalik made a somewhat grandiose claim that so far Tamiflu has been effective in all but 2 patients treated.

I wonder how they can tell, since most of the H1N1 will recover even without treatment, and Tamilfu is known to do not much more than shortening the illness by only about 1-2 days? This of course, may be important is shortening the period of infectivity, and possibly also in limiting the extent of the disease, but without a placebo controlled clinical trial no one can be certain that Tamiflu actually does any good despite what lab tests tell us.

I am all for reassuring the public in this time of anxiety, but making unsubstantiated claims like this is really not good reporting.

No comments: