Who would have thought that antivirals for the flu could generate so much excitement? It makes me long for the annual visit to the Today Show by the Flu Bugs.
Today’s news from the Associated Press is that a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that a strain of flu in Japan is developing resistance to antiviral drugs—namely Roche’s Tamiflu, but potentially GlaxoSmithKline’s Relenza. Previous studies had documented resistance with Tamiflu, but this shows a potential class effect.
This comes on the heels of Japan dealing with a rash of adverse events in which “odd behavior” is observed in children taking the drug Tamiflu. These odd behaviors include suicide (which isn’t all that odd if you’ve ever spent any time in Japan) as well as the “overwhelming desire to hop” (yeah, that’s odd). The ever watchful Japanese Health Ministry issued a warning to doctor’s about these odd behaviors last month.
And soon all the drug firms will be looking into their pipelines for the next promising compound.