Lancet editorial

Lancet editorial Announcement Date: May 15, 2014

The editorial suggests that Cochrane review results and observational data are broadly consistent and decisions on influenza complications management should be based on observational data.

“The findings of the Cochrane Collaboration and those from observational studies are not in conflict: they provide evidence on different outcomes, for different groups of patients, and across different settings. What matters is being able to reduce risk, mitigate the complications of influenza, and save lives. Neuraminidase inhibitors remain an essential part of our armamentarium to lessen the impact of influenza.”

Nguyen-Van-Tam JS, Openshaw PJ, Nicholson KG. Antivirals for influenza: where now for clinical practice and pandemic preparedness? Lancet 2014; 384: 386–87.

All three authors are members/associates of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza (ESWI), a pharmaceutically funded pressure group promoting use of influenza vaccines and antivirals.

ConfLicts of interest: “Between October, 2007, and September, 2010, JSN-V-T undertook ad hoc paid consultancy and lecturing for influenza vaccine manufacturers (Sanofi Pasteur MSD, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Baxter, Solvay, and Novartis) and manufacturers of neuraminidase inhibitors (F Hoffmann-La Roche, oseltamivir; and GlaxoSmithKline, zanamivir); he is in receipt of current or recent research funding related to influenza vaccination from GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca and non-financial support (travel) from Baxter, and his group received an unrestricted educational grant for research in the area of pandemic influenza from F Hoffman La-Roche used to fund the work by Muthuri and colleagues cited in the Comment. PJMO is Vice-President of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza and has served as a scientific adviser to GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, and Janssen. KGN was a founding member of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza and resigned in 2001; within the past 5 years he received H5 vaccines from Novartis for MRC-funded research and H1N1 pandemic vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and Baxter for NIHR-funded research.”