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March 3, 2010

Losing the Opportunity to Study Influenza Drugs

JAMA. 2010;303(9):878-879. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.234

Shortly after 2009 influenza A(H1N1) emerged, we advocated for real-time clinical trials to make use of the rare opportunity—and an ethical imperative—to study influenza drugs while the pandemic is ongoing.1 Tran et al2 further emphasized this need for prospective clinical trials during the outbreak. Persistent gaps in knowledge about drugs to treat influenza and the recent decision by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue an Emergency Use Authorization for peramivir,3 an unapproved drug, make this need even more acute.