Jim Ayer was, for most of his life, a slave to his own dreams—a fisherman of thrills and addictions. From when he was a child, he attached a ball and chain to each ankle, closed himself up in his own world, and threw away the key.
I have an acutely vivid memory which triggered this article. It was a wet day in London in the winter of 2002. My 145kg frame was squished in the front seat of a tiny blue Fiat Punto with two colleagues in the parking lot of a Burger King.
In mid-April 2014, the words 'scandal', 'secret', 'drugs', and 'Roche' (the Swiss drug giant) delighted the medical press, which was quick to publish tantalizing news about the ineffectiveness of Tamiflu and the enormous amounts spent by governments in order to stock up on the drug, in preparation for possible flu epidemics.