Roche Fails to Address Question of Missing Tamiflu Data
Published: Nov 14, 2012
A leading researcher has suggested that European governments should sue the drug firm Roche and that doctors and others boycott the company’s products until it publishes missing data on Tamiflu. Peter Gøtzsche, leader of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, was responding to an open letter to Roche from BMJ Editor-in-chief, Dr Fiona Godlee. The letter is part of the BMJ’s open data campaign, aimed at persuading Roche to honour the promise it made almost three years ago to make key Tamiflu trial data available for independent scrutiny. Last week, Roche issued a “reactive statement” in response to Dr Godlee’s letter, saying it “does not accept or agree with the content of the letter regarding our transparency.” The company said it had provided the Cochrane group with 3200 pages of information “enabling their questions to be answered” and that a further request for information was denied because the researchers “declined to sign a confidentiality agreement.” However, the Cochrane researchers say they were never offered a confidentiality agreement at the time of the further request, and say they have “found misleading statements in each of the document’s four paragraphs.” The Cochrane researchers issued a letter to Roche last week – now posted on bmj.com/tamiflu – asking Roche to publicly correct the record.