Letters: Tamiflu-based strategy is costly and needs rethink

Tamiflu is not a preventive medicine and it does not cure swine flu either. Why should we advise about and prescribe it as a routine, just to alleviate symptoms slightly? Ordinary symptoms can be treated with paracetamol. This is nothing but media hype about swine flu that has exacerbated unnecessary public panic.

We should sensibly reconsider and think up a new strategy, and stop free distribution of an expensive medicine to all on the NHS, and reserve the resources for seriously ill patients only.

Dr Hari Nawal, Bedford, Bedfordshire

- A spokesperson for Roche said: 'As a responsible developer of medicines Roche only advocates the use of Tamiflu within its licensed indications to treat and prevent influenza in those one year of age and older.

Data show that when administered within 48 hours it reduces the duration of illness and severity of symptoms, when administered within 36 hours reduces the risk of hospitalisation and secondary complications, and also has the potential to reduce the chance of an exposed person becoming ill.'

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