Choice of oseltamivir in 2009 flu pandemic was “worrying,” says MP

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 23 May 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3371
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

The MP Margaret Hodge has expressed dismay at the government’s decision in 2009 to stockpile oseltamivir (sold as Tamiflu) in preparation for a flu pandemic despite uncertainty over the drug’s effectiveness.

Hodge, who chairs the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, said she was also appalled at the “squandering” of £74m (€86m; $112m) of taxpayers’ money when 6.5 million doses of oseltamivir had to be written off because of the NHS’s poor record keeping on how the drug was stored during the 2009-10 pandemic. “There is simply no excuse for this waste,” she said.

Hodge was responding to a memorandum from the National Audit Office written to inform members of her committee on how drugs are licensed and the reasoning behind the decision of the Department of …

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