Public Accounts Committee

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The Public Accounts Committee tried to establish whether the NHS carried out a proper assessment of the effectiveness of Tamiflu before it spent £500m stockpiling the anti-flu drug during 2009 flu pandemic, during an evidence session on 17 June 2013.

Concerns had been raised about the effectiveness of the drug, manufactured by the Swiss pharmaceutical group Roche, after evidence emerged that some of the clinical trial data on the drug may have been withheld.

In a letter to committee chair Margaret Hodge a group of six cross-party MPs claimed that Roche has conducted over 123 clinical trials but published the results of under 40% of them.

The letter claims that without the full information the NHS could not properly assess the clinical benefit of Tamiflu before it spent £500m (0.5% of the NHS' 2009 budget)on stockpiling the drug.

In the event that the committee finds that Roche deliberately concealed evidence which shows Tamiflu to be a placebo - which some scientists claim it is - the MPs have urged Mrs Hodge to demand Roche repay the money to the government.

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