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Letters Response: Roche

Roche replies to the authors of the Cochrane Review on oseltamivir

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 08 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5364
  1. James Smith, international medical leader, Tamiflu1
  2. On behalf of Roche
  1. 1F Hoffmann-La Roche, CH-4070 Basel, Switzerland

    We would like to respond to some of the issues raised with regard to the Cochrane Review on oseltamivir published in this issue of the BMJ.1

    We were not provided with this article in advance to allow detailed comment, but we understand from correspondence with Dr T Jefferson of the review team that it may omit from its assessment data that show the efficacy and safety of this drug—namely, a meta-analysis of 10 studies published in 2003.2 This review indicated that oseltamivir treatment reduces lower respiratory tract infections and hospitalisations in both healthy and “at risk” adults with flu illness. The publication is one of numerous data sources supporting the efficacy and safety of the drug, including a pooled analysis by Singh et al,3 studies from Hong Kong4 and Canada5 showing a reduction in mortality, evidence of efficacy from claims database studies,6 7 8 a brief review of evidence of efficacy …

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