Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


WHO downgrades status of oseltamivir

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: (Published 12 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3266

Rapid Response:

Re: WHO downgrades status of oseltamivir

Reminiscent of the Dutch tulip bulb frenzy. Don't forget how much money Canada wasted and may continue to waste on inefficient use of influenza vaccines. But at least it increased GDP substantially.

The most important costs are probably the lost opportunities to affect social determinants of health for people in poverty: housing, clean water, reasonable nutrition. It takes a lot of courage for elected representatives to ask the hard questions, even in the secrecy of a Cabinet meeting or the innermost counsels of governments. What about a new BMJ award for the rare ones who do?

Tom Perry MD

Competing interests: No competing interests

13 July 2017
Thomas L Perry
University of British Columbia
S-139 University Hospital, 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver BC, CANADA V6T 2B5