Tamiflu Troubles

A Japanese Family Sues

A Japanese family whose son died after taking Tamiflu is to sue the country’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency. The 17-year-old died when he ran out of his home in his bare feet and was run over by a truck about two hours after taking Tamiflu.

The suit comes after Japanese health authorities ordered doctors not to prescribe Tamiflu to patients aged 10-19 following dozens of deaths and injuries among teenagers over the past six years.

More than 1,300 people have exhibited neuropsychiatric symptoms since Tamiflu went on sale in Japan in 2001, of which 71 have died. Twenty-seven, most in their teens, fell from buildings.

Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Roche, which manufactures Tamiflu, says that nothing indicated that the drug was responsible for the neuropsychiatric problems. The FDA adds that the relationship between the bizarre behavior and the drug was not known, but that the label had been amended to “mitigate the potential risk”.

Previously, the label had only mentioned that “seizure and confusion” have been seen in some patients.