Background: Many of the trials evaluating Tamiflu® were never published, and its manufacturer, Roche, was not willing to release the data voluntarily. After a long court battle that lasted many years, the Cochrane Collaboration was finally able to get all the unpublished data from Roche, and they performed a meta-analysis that was published in 2014. Important findings from the analysis are detailed below.

Oseltamivir for influenza in adults and children, BMJ (2014) [PubMed abstract]

Summary This long-awaited meta-analysis calls into question the benefits of Tamiflu. Tamiflu appears to decrease the symptoms of flu in adults by about 17 hours at the cost of increased nausea and vomiting. Tamiflu had no obvious benefit in children. When it comes to clinically important outcomes like pneumonia and hospitalization, Tamiflu showed no proven benefit in any group.

Based on the available evidence, Tamiflu has no proven significant effect on clinically important outcomes. Widespread outpatient use is not supported. Whether Tamiflu improves outcomes in sicker, hospitalized patients is unclear.