A meta-analysis published online today in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine has concluded that patients admitted to hospital with H1N1 influenza during the 2009/2010 pandemic were 25% less likely to die from the disease if they had been given neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) such as Roche’s Tamilfu.
Until now, [Governments] had no adequate data to assist them in deciding if lives were saved in 2009-2010 or not
The team from the Post-pandemic Review of anti-influenza Drug Effectiveness (PRIDE) research consortium looked at nearly 30,000 patients from across 38 countries who had a suspected or diagnosed H1N1 infection. The analysis revealed that the most effective stage in which to administer NAIs is within two days of symptoms developing. After this period patients were only 19% less likely to die from the infection when compared to patients who did not recieve treatments such as Tamiflu.
Significantly the analysis showed no difference in treatment effectiveness betgween pregnant women and adults in intensive care with sever symptoms. Whilst there was no observable reduction in mortality for children between the ages of 0 and 15 years old.
The findings are good news for governments and health organisations who have stockpiled Tamiflu and other NAIs in the wake of the swine flu pandemic. With increasing compensation claims being made against various european health bodies as a result of complications from GSK’s Pandemrix treatment for H1N1, governments will no doubt be relieved to know that at least some of their efforts during the 2009/2010 swine flue pandemic were not in vein and have shown quantifiable results.