Today, it is the active ingredient oseltamivir found in Tamiflu. Tamiflu was marketed in the EU in 2002. In 2005, Tamiflu and star anise, the plant from which the active substance came, were purchased for hamsters, when WHO recommended Tamiflu as a flu prevention. In 2005 and 2006 the H5N1 bird flu was everywhere in print. At the end of 2005, the first transfer of ducks and chickens to pigs in China and Vietnam was recorded. In early 2006, two children in Turkey died of this flu virus, H5N1 (detected by a nose wipe).
But what does Tamiflu have to do with star anise? Bernd explains that Tamiflu is derived from the shikimic acid contained in stellar anise. From shikimic acid, tamiflu oseltamivir is obtained in nine steps in 35% yield.
Star anise is rarely used here, it is also included in some things for Christmas. In China, however, star anise is an integral part of the kitchen, especially powdered with five spices (Bernd and André also talk about a mixture of 5 spices), which is used, among other things, for marinating pork.
"Roche is currently buying large quantities of star anise to make Tamiflu. In addition, people are also buying spice to protect themselves from the flu," says Ed Deep, a spice broker from Hoboken, New Jersey. Add to this the demand of Chinese chefs and the fear of the Chinese that they can no longer eat their beloved sweet and sour pork. The media in China is full of reports that star anise is urgently needed. "
(Quote from "Star Anise: The Hamster for Tamiflu Production", innovations-report.de)
»Experts like Ulrich Matern of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology at the University of Marburg, however, doubt this thesis. > I can't imagine Roche producing oseltamivir from natural star anise. Because gene technology is now well advanced, the substance is produced using the genetically modified bacterium E. coli, ”said an expert in a press interview. This method is faster, cheaper and more efficient. "In plant protection, however, star anise is known as a cure," explains Matern. Essential oils are effective against coughs and colds. However, proper flu cannot be treated. "
(Quote from "Star Anise: A Hamster for Tamiflu Production", innovations-report.de
The active substance oseltamivir is a neuraminidase inhibitor, which ensures that the influenza virus cannot dissolve with the viruses of its own neuraminidase enzymes from the surface of the affected cell. In 2014, Tamiflu reclassified Cochrane by collaboration as a more essential drug. Further links on the topic:
Legislative proposal: Digital Supply Act
As early as May 2019, there was a draft referendum and there is now a Federal Government Bill on the Digital Supply Act (DVG). The account is online here as a PDF. André was fascinated by the first reading and therefore deals with some aspects. The draft law stipulates that doctors may prescribe applications, but only those that are reminiscent of drugs, for example, or diaries for diabetic or hypertensive patients. These digital medical devices must be controlled in some way. In fact, the Joint Federal Committee (GBA) determines which Medinzinproducts and fees must be reimbursed by health insurance. The current bill on DVG provides that the Federal Bureau of Medicinal Products and Medical Devices (BfArM) is now doing it – which is unusual and noteworthy.
In his research, André found a statement from the Federal Medical Association, which talks about the many problems of the law and from which he cites. Links to this:
André is particularly concerned about the principle of solidarity, as the DVG also stipulates that health insurance funds can develop applications alongside IT companies and also evaluate patients' social data. This, according to André, would open up opportunities for violating the principle of solidarity. André refers to two sources that I would recommend to everyone to read and listen to:
Bernd notes another interesting note: As André presented the bill, with the dangers of monitoring health insurance, each other corrupted, namely patient assistance, when it came to collecting data for science. If applications can be used to lower prices, that is, always at the cost of patents, patients' willingness to provide health information for research is likely to be low.
André will host Health Care Day in October 2019 as well as 2018. This event of the Berlin Senate Health, Nursing and Gender Equality Department deals with the direct exchange between students and students of health and medical professions and Health Senator Dilek Kalayci.