Expert Opinion on neuraminidase inhibitors for prevention and treatment of influenza (Feb 2016)

Expert opinion

A consultation with European and international public health experts was convened to review data presented in newly conducted systematic reviews and meta-analyses regarding influenza antivirals, in order to develop an ECDC Expert Opinion.

In line with ECDC’s commitment to openness and transparency, and in order to receive comments from the scientific community and stakeholders, ECDC is launching a public consultation on the ‘Expert Opinion on neuraminidase inhibitors for prevention and treatment of influenza – review of recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses’.

Executive summary

Current recommendations on the use of the neuraminidase inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir for the treatment and prophylaxis of influenza disease are appropriate, but the antivirals are being underutilised, finds a new expert opinion from ECDC, which today opens for public consultation.

The review of recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the use of neuraminidase inhibitors for prevention and treatment of influenza finds that the studies presented strengthen the evidence base for the use of these antiviral treatments.

Continued debate surrounding the effectiveness and safety of these antivirals has led to some uncertainty within the public health community regarding the antivirals’ potential benefits as a treatment option or as prophylaxis for influenza disease. As a result, the public health benefits may be being missed.

The ECDC expert opinion demonstrates that there is evidence for use of neuraminidase inhibitors for treatment and prophylaxis of influenza. It also highlights the importance of further studies and the urgent need for the development of new antivirals with greater efficacy.

The report is open for public consultation and all comments are welcome. They will be considered and addressed by the authors prior to publication of the final report.

How to submit contributions:

Comments should be submitted using this form* and sent to .

Note that the comments received must clearly state the identity of the contributor (i.e. country, name and surname, and affiliation in the case of contributions from individuals; or name of organisation in the case of contributions on behalf of an organisation). Contributors are kindly asked to mention the respective line and page numbers of the document to which their comment(s) refer. Please read the guidelines for submission of contributions and kindly note that only contributions following ECDC guidelines will be considered.

For more information on the processing of your personal data in the context of this consultation, read the specific privacy statement.

Deadline: 16 March 2016

*Users of Internet Explorer may encounter problems when opening this form. If you experience difficulties, please save the document as a compatible Word file before opening. To save, right click on the link and choose 'Save target as'.If you are requested to provide a 'username' and 'password', click 'Cancel'. The form will open.

Read more on the ECDC website


Expert opinion on neuraminidase inhibitors for the prevention and treatment of influenza - review of recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Expert opinion -

This ECDC expert opinion confirms earlier assessments by ECDC and national authorities that there is no significant new evidence to support any changes to the approved indications and recommended use of neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) in EU/EEA Member States.