Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Prescriptions for Tamiflu have seen more than a 5-fold increase this flu season, compared to last year, according to GoodRx. “It appears to be the worst flu epidemic in years”. Parts of the Midwest are seeing a 10-fold increase. (Fortunately, a handful of states are not seeing widespread flu.) A shortage of the medication is a result of the high volume of prescriptions written for Tamiflu this year. Despite the surge of prescriptions, there are some doubts about whether Tamiflu is even effective for treatment or prevention. According to a study-of-studies, or meta-analysis performed by Cochrane Research, Tamiflu may provide a much smaller benefit than expected. At best, the analysis found that Tamiflu may only help patients recover one day faster, and may not reduce the number of flu-related complications, like pneumonia. Additionally, it may only reduce the risk of getting sick by 55%. At about $100 per prescription, for some, the benefits may not outweigh the cost. For an interactive map that shows the flu cases in each state, week-by-week, click here: https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/fluview/main.html
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