The UK wasted £500m on 'useless' and 'toxic' swine flu drug Tamiflu

The UK has wasted £473m on Tamiflu, the anti-viral drug to combat swine flu.

A report by the Cochrane Collaboration found that Tamiflu works no better than paracetamol.

The UK stocked up the drug in 2009 during the swine flu outbreak. The drug was given to 240,000 people in the UK at a rate of 1,000 a week.

The authors of the report claimed the drug was “useless” and they found “no good evidence” to support claims that Tamiflu cures complications of influenza.

The “toxic” drug reportedly caused psychotic disorders as eight children who took the drug in Japan ended up committing suicide. Other side effects included kidney problems, nausea, vomiting and headaches.

Dr Carl Henegen, professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford, said: “This drug was given to 1,000 people a week over a phone line, but it was no better for symptom relief than over-the-counter medication — and you’re talking about potentially serious complications. I wouldn’t prescribe it to my patients.”

Dr Tom Jefferson, an epidemiologist with The Cochrane Collaboration, added: “The stuff is toxic. It increased the risk of psychiatric events, headaches and renal events in one in 150 people. People reported nausea, vomiting and constriction of the airways. In Japan eight children jumped out of windows and committed suicide.”

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