Thursday, April 10, 2014

Swine flu, Tamiflu and how UKIP exposed the swine swindle in 2010

The Daily Telegraph today carried an article covering the release of an investigation by Oxford University which looked into the government's stockpiling and subsequent use of Tamiflu (oseltamivir).

Back in 2010 when I was working in Brussels, I undertook a review of the use of Tamiflu at the height of the 'Swine Flu' hysteria. The results of my investigation are available at, but in précis the outcome of an analysis of existing medical trials and regulatory reports was that:

  1. Tamiflu was potentially more dangerous than swine flu
  2. Young people were particularly at risk from adverse reactions including psychotic episodes and increased suicide risk
  3. It was not particularly effective in treating A/H1N1
All conclusions also reached by Oxford University after 5 years of study. My list of conclusions did not stop there, however:
  • The European Medicines Agency extended the shelf life of Tamiflu to prevent political embarrassment to national governments caused by the destruction of £100's of millions of unused medicine
  • The subsequent widespread use of Tamiflu has been driven by political concerns related to the above
  • The ability of the A/H1N1 group virii to develop resistance to Tamiflu was accelerated by this widespread use
  • The stockpiling of Tamiflu was a result of EU policy
UKIP was not alone in reaching these conclusions, but the medical community was reluctant to rock the political boat, despite evidence published by the British Medical Journal. My own response to that is attached below, with the link to it's publication in the BMJ below.

Publicly available information

4 January 2010

I make no claims to be experienced in understanding clinical trials, nor even to have a medical background: I am by training an engineer. However, it was clear as long ago as June that the use of oseltamivir in combating the current 'pandemic' A/H1N1 strain was neither straightforward, nor without an element of risk. 
Under the auspices of Godfrey Bloom MEP (Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire) I undertook an analysis of existing publicly available information relating to oseltamivir treatments and arrived at conclusions which, to a layman such as myself, do not differ greatly from those in this report. 
Several questions arose from this research which deserved an answer much earlier in the debate. These included:
  • whether the widespread use of oseltamivir would result in increased resistance as appeared to be suggested by de Jong, Thanh and others (New England Medical Journal, 12/2005) and Dharan, Gubereva, Meyer et al (Journal of the American Medical Association)
  • Whether oseltamivir was more dangerous than the A/H1N1 it was supposed to treat/prevent, as suggested by the US FDA (Pediatric ADRs to Tamiflu, 2007), Maxwell's Tamiflu and neuropsychiatric problems in adolescents (BMJ) and the work of Rokura Hama.
  • Whether the rush to use oseltamivir to treat A/H1N1 was related to the imminent expiry of stockpiles purchased in 2005 in the previous 'bird flu' scare which would have lead to the destruction of pharmaceuticals worth £500m in the UK alone. 
As someone involved in advising policy on these matters, I was mystified as to why the scientific community could not address these issues at the time and, worse, actively sought to deflect dissent to the prevailing view which appeared to amount to 'unless we all take oseltamivir we'll die of H1N1'.

I am perfectly happy to accept that my understanding of medicine may well be at fault in my interpretation of at least some of the studies I quote, but there has always been a significant body of opinion which has questioned both the seriousness of the supposed A/H1N1 pandemic, and the efficacy of oseltamivir as either a treatment or a prophylaxis. For any who are interested, my own analysis was published at . My apologies for the title, but I am a journalist and not a medical professional.

Yours faithfully,
Mark Croucher
Head of Media
Europe of Freedom & Democracy Group (UKIP), European Parliament, Brussels
Competing interests: None declared

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