Re: Management of influenza with Tamiflu

Reading the article on the use of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) for treatment of influenza [BCMJ 2015;57:402-406] was like revisiting an old nightmare. Worldwide, governments have invested over $9 billion in stockpiling this most controversial drug. The Canadian government spent about $400 million several years ago only to have the stockpile outdate before it was used. Multiple studies attest to the very marginal benefits of this expensive drug.

The article conveniently failed to rationally address the concept of cost-benefit ratio with regard to the use of the drug. Thousands of primary care practitioners have long ago decided the efficacy (or lack thereof) regarding this drug. That is why it is not widely used, as the article points out. Public health dollars could be spent more effectively on other endeavors in my opinion.
—Robert H. Brown, MD

Robert H. Brown, MD, CCFP. Re: Management of influenza with Tamiflu. BCMJ, Vol. 58, No. 1, January, February, 2016, Page(s) 7 - Letters.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply