Increasing drug reliability through collective action


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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