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A study by an Oxford-based firm has claimed the Tamiflu drug given to thousands of people did not work any better than paracetamol.

Produced by the Cochrane Collaboration, which includes Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, it claims the UK Government has spent almost “£424m to stockpile about 40 million doses”.

It said “compared with a placebo, taking Tamiflu led to a quicker alleviation of influenza-like symptoms in adults”, but the report’s authors said drugs such as paracetamol could have a similar impact.