Monday, October 19, 2009

Internet the "Mother Lode" of H1N1 Flu Scams, Says FDA

The Internet can be a great source of information about the pandemic H1N1 flu, but it's also the mother lode of swine flu scams, the FDA is warning.In a news release, the agency said it recently purchased and analyzed several products that purported to be oseltamivir (Tamiflu), one of two antiviral drugs thought to be effective against the pandemic flu.

"One of the orders, which arrived in an unmarked envelope with a postmark from India, consisted of unlabeled, white tablets taped between two pieces of paper," the agency said. Analysis showed the tablets contained talc and acetaminophen, but no oseltamivir, the FDA said. The Web site disappeared shortly after the order was placed. The agency said it bought four similarly advertised products from other Web sites. These did contain some oseltamivir, but were not approved for use in the U.S. Several Web merchants did not require a prescription, and none of the drugs arrived quickly enough to treat someone infected with the pandemic flu or with an immediate exposure to the virus.


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