Letters Oseltamivir and zanamivir for flu

Department of Health’s misguided alert recommending neuraminidase inhibitors for flu

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g1594 (Published 19 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1594
  1. Patricia McGettigan, clinical pharmacologist1,
  2. Allyson Pollock, professor2,
  3. Andrew Herxheimer, emeritus fellow, Cochrane Collaboration3
  1. 1William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London EC1M 6BQ, UK
  2. 2Global Health, Policy and Innovation Unit, Queen Mary, University of London, UK
  3. 3London, UK
  1. p.mcgettigan{at}qmul.ac.uk

On 27 January 2014, the Department of Health’s chief medical and pharmaceutical officers, Sally Davies and Keith Ridge, wrote a “for action” alert to NHS England leads, GPs, and community pharmacies endorsing the use of the antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir for prophylaxis and treatment of flu.1 2 The alert authorises GPs to prescribe the drugs at NHS expense for …

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