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Urgent Prescription Notices and Changes

NOTICE: Tamiflu Excluded from Chouest Group Health Prescription Drug Coverage

Tamiflu (oseltamivir) is an antiviral medication indicated for the treatment or prevention of influenza A and B.

Why?

Systematic medical reviews have concluded that Tamiflu does not reduce the spread of the virus, does not reduce the incidence of complications of influenza, does not reduce the rate of hospitalizations due to influenza, and does shorten the duration of symptomatic flu for only about a half a day. Side effects of Tamiflu include psychiatric symptoms, vomiting, and headache. Tamiflu's risk-benefit ratio is controversial at best.

Rationale

Influenza is a self-limited illness. Given that Tamiflu under the best-case scenario only shortens the duration of the illness by a few hours, and systematic medical studies has shown that it does not reduce hospitalizations, transmission of the virus, or complications of the disease, the plan has decided to exclude the drug from coverage.