Department of Philosophy



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icon for Cited Podcast's 'The Tamiflu Trials'Sergio Sismondo is an advisor on a podcast series for Cited Podcast, which generally covers issues about science in the public interest, and is focusing on stories relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first in this series is The Tamiflu Trials, which tells the story of an antiviral drug, Tamiflu, from its days as middling flu treatment through its meteoric rise to international blockbuster.  How do experts decide what makes a good drug, and how do pharmaceutical companies make billions from pandemic panic? We don’t know what will happen with COVID-19 drug research. But the story of past pandemics might give us a clue. To prepare for Swine Flu and Bird Flu, governments spent billions stockpiling a drug called Tamiflu. You would think governments used the best evidence-based advice, but the story of Tamiflu raises questions about how money shaped the process. 

Separately, Sismondo was also interviewed for another Cited Podcast episode, Pandemic Fat Cats, on how the pharmaceutical industry shapes medical knowledge.