View Full Version : Tamiflu "Useless"

12-05-2005, 10:02 PM
Doctor says bird flu drug is ‘useless’


Jonathon Carr-Brown

A VIETNAMESE doctor who has treated dozens of victims of avian flu claims the drug being stockpiled around the world to combat a pandemic is “useless” against the virus.

Dr Nguyen Tuong Van runs the intensive care unit at the Centre for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi and has treated 41 victims of H5N1. Van followed World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and gave her patients Tamiflu, but concluded it had no effect.

“We place no importance on using this drug on our patients,” she said. “Tamiflu is really only meant for treating ordinary type A flu. It was not designed to combat H5N1 . . . (Tamiflu) is useless.”

Her verdict casts doubt on the pandemic flu policy put in place by the Irish government. Mary Harney, the minister for health, has ordered 1m doses to “protect” a quarter of the population against the flu pandemic.

Van, who has also treated patients with Sars, the respiratory condition linked to birds, said avian flu had a frightening effect on its victims and the only way to keep patients alive was to “support” all their vital organs, including the liver and kidneys, with modern technology such as ventilators and dialysis machines.

Van would not criticise governments for stockpiling Tamiflu but said doctors had to explain its limitations. Roche, the company that makes Tamiflu, has sold stockpiles of the drug to 40 countries and insists there is clear evidence it will protect against a future flu virus. However, it stresses the drug must be given within 48 hours to be effective.

“Laboratory studies show that Tamiflu is effective against all strains of flu,” said Bill Hall, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory, who defended Ireland’s stockpiling of Tamiflu and other flu treatments. “The only limitation is when it is not administered within the first 24 hours of onset of symptoms.”

The WHO admitted Tamiflu had not been widely successful in humans. “However, we believe in many Asian countries it hasn’t been used until late in the illness,” a spokesman said.

12-05-2005, 11:28 PM
Those damn swedish they are so evil.

Me I will be wearing my particulate mask and spit shield glasses when it goes down.

12-06-2005, 07:41 PM
All tamiflu does is strengthen your immune system. It doesn't actually attack the virus itself, they haven't invented anything that can target viruses like they have bacteria. For something like the bird flu, which is supposed ot be very strong, it wouldn't help much on people with already weakened bodies.