US Pharm. 2014;39(4):62.

According to a large meta-analysis, adults hospitalized with H1N1 influenza during the 2009-2010 pandemic were 25% less likely to die from the disease if they were given antiviral drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs), such as Tamiflu. The study, involving more than 29,000 patients from 38 countries, was published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. Treatment within 2 days of flu-symptom onset, the findings also indicate, cut the risk of death by half compared with later treatment or no treatment.

“Many governments have stockpiles of Tamiflu that are close to expiry. But until now, they had no adequate data to assist them in deciding if lives were saved in 2009-2010 or not, and whether they should replenish or not,” explains lead author Prof. Jonathan Nguyen-Van-Tam, of the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.