Roche has said it is aware of no evidence that treatment with its influenza treatment Tamiflu (oseltamivir) can lead to an increase of cases of 'abnormal' behaviour.
The company is responding to a report by its Japanese unit, Chugai Pharmaceutical, that two suicides had been linked to treatment with Tamiflu. Yesterday, the Japanese Government said it is considering issuing an official warning about possible bevioural disturbances with the drug, after a number" of reports of sudden death amongst children given the drug, and 64 cases of psychological disorders linked to Tamiflu since its approval in Japan four years ago [[14/11/05c]].
"We do not see an imbalance in these types of neuropsychiatric events for Tamiflu versus the background associated with influenza," said Roche's head of pandemic sales of the drug, David Reddy, reported by Reuters.
More than 30 million people worldwide have taken Tamiflu so far and the drug has always had a positive safety profile, he said. Governments around the world are stockpiling Tamiflu as they gear up for a possible flu pandemic.