TPG - Counterfeit Drug

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Questionable Findings Found on Influenza Drugs Study

With the increasing number of counterfeit cases and claims of new found counterfeit drugs emerging side by side, the only reliable sources of information is through thorough research and reviews conducted by pharmaceutical companies. Local and international pharmacies are continuously competing to create spot-on data and information. These studies are dependable and consistent in providing statistics which underwent strenuous experiments and trials.

That was the belief then, until great reality were discovered just recently which would change the perception of truth on these statistics and beliefs.

Before we delve into the issue, let us first identify the medicine which outturned the impression on scientific studies conducted in pharmaceutical companies.

Tamiflu held the public’s attention when a number of cases reported to be uncommon side effects of the pill gained health authorities’ attention. Dementia, restlessness, suicidal behaviors and delirium were found to be common denominators among three individuals in Jakarta, Indonesia. The same symptoms were noticed with a 14-year-old Japanese girl back in March 2, 2005 who also took Tamiflu during the Flu outbreak in their town.

But evidence released earlier this year by Cochrane Collaboration, a London-based nonprofit, shows that a significant amount of negative data from the drug’s clinical trials were hidden from the public. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) knew about it, but the medical community did not; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which doesn’t have the same access to unpublished data as regulators, had recommended the drug without being able to see the full picture. When results from those unpublished trials finally did emerge, they cast doubt over whether Tamiflu is as effective as the manufacturer says.

According to a review released by the Peterson Group, a non-profit organization campaigning against the proliferation of counterfeit drugs, dozens of government and private pharmaceutical companies conduct studies and only extract some part of the truth to disclose to the public.

This revelation of hidden data bolstered growing movement against what’s referred to within the community as “publication bias” in which scientists squirrel away mostly negative or inconclusive findings and broadcast only their positive ones. Concealing trial data – which the patients take the risk without knowing the real circumstances – is, unfortunately a routine. Among them were many trials where the results were negative or inconclusive.

This, as authorities point out is not far from the fraudulence that scammers do to medicines.