This is something that I have been wondering about for a while now: why do so many people believe everything that Big Pharma tells them without conclusive evidence? One would have thought that governments and the medical community would want to see rigorous testing before spending big bucks for some ‘miracle’ drug.

Why have governments around the world spent US$3 billion since the emergence of H1N1 on Tamiflu, a drug that seems to do very little? That’s the question raised by The Atlantic, after the British Medical Journal revealed that researchers were unable to conclude that the drug is really effective.

Reuters reported in May that Malaysia was boosting its Tamiflu stockpile to cover 10 per cent of its 27 million population from 7.5 percent.

Now, in an explosive report, The Atlantic reveals:

Governments, public health agencies, and international bodies such as the World Health Organization, have all based their decisions to recommend and stockpile Tamiflu on studies that had seemed independent, but had in fact been funded by the company and were authored almost entirely by Roche employees or paid academic consultants…

That trust appears to have been misplaced, and a drug touted as beneficial on the basis of flimsy evidence has by now become so entrenched that no one appears willing to conduct the sort of study needed to prove whether or not it can, in fact, save lives.

Read the full story here.