Increasing drug reliability through collective action

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With hundreds of trials done in each medical area, the results can be confusing or even contradictory. What can be done? Enter the Cochrane review.

One evening in 2009, a patient walked into a pharmacy with a prescription, demanding a drug called Tamiflu. “Everyone I know who has the flu is taking it,” she added. Tamiflu, also known by its generic name, Oseltamivir, was the then-answer to the H1N1 flu pandemic. The drug, a neuraminidase inhibitor, was recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the treatment and prevention of influenza – based on a Cochrane Review.

So what is a Cochrane review?

Usually, as in the case of Tamiflu, many studies are done before a drug hits the market, and for various reasons; no two studies ever give identical results. Sometimes the results may even be conflicting.


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