Intended for healthcare professionals


Anti-flu drug may not reduce death rate

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 11 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:659
  1. Gavin Yamey
  1. BMJ

    GlaxoWellcome has admitted that its drug to treat influenza, zanamivir (Relenza), may not reduce mortality from flu. Dr Robert Pearson, GlaxoWellcome's respiratory associate medical director, commented at a press launch that there is “no evidence that Relenza will reduce mortality—we can't make any claims for its use in high risk groups.”

    Mortality was not an end point in one of the largest trials to date, based in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa; only 17% of patients were considered at high risk—because of asthma—and most had only mild asthma (Lancet 1998;352:1877-81). Nor …

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