Network blogger: Tamiflu and the Ethics of the British Medical Journal.

Announcement Date: April 10, 2014

Blogger Rober Dingwall challenges the BMJ and the Cochrane Collaboration to engage in some soulsearching about their evident desire for publicity, and an obsession with the supposed evils of the international pharmaceutical industry

Last week, the UK media, both traditional and social, were full of claims that the government had wasted over £500 million of public funds on stockpiling Tamiflu (oseltamivir), an anti-viral drug used in the treatment of influenza. The claims derived from a paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) by the influential Cochrane Collaboration. This story, however, tells us less about Tamiflu than about the circulation wars between leading medical and scientific journals, about the credulity of some science and medical journalists, about the exaggerated public expectations of modern pharmaceuticals, and about the Talibanization of the Cochrane Collaboration. If public and professional confidence in a moderately helpful drug has been damaged, it would not be a surprise if there are deaths to be laid at the doors of the BMJ and the Cochrane Collaboration. (Read More)