It looked like a flashback to the Cabbage Patch doll hysteria, when parents stormed toy stores and grabbed them up wherever they could find them.
But no, what I was seeing were pictures on the news of frantic people in pharmacies trying to find some Tamiflu. They acted as if it was a case of life or death.
And actually, that’s pretty much what we’re expected to believe right now.
There’s more, however, to the Tamiflu story than what we’re being told on the nightly news.
It’s a long-running tale of hidden studies, concealed side effects and a whole lot of money in the pocket of Roche, which makes the drug. One group of doctors wrote up a lengthy report calling it “The Tamiflu Fiasco.”
Yet this “fiasco” continues on year after year. Currently, Tamiflu sales are through the roof.
But as some brave scientists and doctors have been trying to tell us, this drug has a dark side. And now, another grieving family is blaming it for the death of a loved one.
Stop, look and listen
At the end of last month, I told you how Tamiflu has been linked to bizarre and suicidal behavior, especially in kids. Most recently, that included a 6-year-old Texas girl who came within inches of jumping out of her bedroom window after being given the drug.
Now, there’s been another Tamiflu-related tragedy.
An Indianapolis couple is saying that the drug resulted in the death of their nephew, 16-year-old Charlie Harp.
When the boy was diagnosed with the flu at the end of January, his aunt Jackie Ray said that they gave him his first Tamiflu dose right in the car before heading home from the doctor’s office.
By the next day, Charlie had hanged himself in the garage.
While at first glance, that may seem to have no connection to this anti-viral drug, the potential for “neuropsychiatric events” is right there on the Tamiflu package. But the Rays say they weren’t warned about “what that could mean.”
And it’s true that your knee-jerk reaction isn’t to pore over the tiny print on a drug’s label and look for side effects. Plus that, with all the stories about how deadly this flu season has been, most all of us have been convinced that the only way to save ourselves is to get that Tamiflu ASAP.
And that’s even without a confirmed flu diagnosis!
But as a growing number of experts have been saying, “Not so fast.”
Tamiflu is one of the best examples out there of a “Teflon drug” — because no matter how much evidence is exposed showing that it doesn’t work and is dangerous, doctors continue to hand it out like lollipops.
Even stories of kids hallucinating bugs and moving furniture, running out into the street, trying to jump out of windows — and most recently the suicide of Charlie Harp — appear to do nothing to dampen Tamiflu sales. It’s simply unbelievable.
Yet experts were sounding the alarm about this drug well over a decade ago. For years, scientists had been trying to get a look at hidden, industry-funded studies on Tamiflu that had been locked away.
And finally, researchers at the highly respected Cochrane Review saw a sampling in 2014. And it revealed that Tamiflu doesn’t lower your chances of having complications from the flu… and, in fact, it only shortens your symptoms by maybe around half a day!
The Cochrane researchers said that nothing they saw indicated that Tamiflu benefits outweigh its risks — which, along with “abnormal behavior,” include nausea, vomiting, headache, and pain (said to be the “most common adverse reactions”) and a horrific skin condition called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, which can make your skin peel off.
They also discovered that early “serious adverse events,” although reported, never even appeared in most published Tamiflu journal articles.
Look, I certainly understand that if you’re dealing with a flu diagnosis, you’re not in the best shape to suddenly start reading up on Tamiflu. That’s why you need to know the full story, be prepared, and realize what this drug could potentially do — especially to a child — before you or a loved one are advised to take it.
“Franklin Township family believes Tamiflu led to teen’s suicide” Gabby Gonzalez, Janurary 30, 2018, Fox 59, fox59.com