FDA Warns of Fraudulent H1N1 Remedies Being Sold Online

October 21, 2009

Caution patients to beware of buying H1N1 influenza remedies from Internet sites.

Caution patients to beware of buying H1N1 influenza remedies from Internet sites. The FDA found some of the products that purported to be generic Tamiflu in fact contained only talc and acetaminophen. Other fraudulent products included vaccines, personal protective devices, and dietary supplements.

During the past 5 months, the FDA has warned more than 75 Web sites to stop the sale of more than 135 products with fraudulent H1N1 influenza virus claims.

“Medicines purchased from web sites operating outside the law put consumers at increased risk due to a higher potential that the products will be counterfeit, impure, contaminated, or have too little or too much of the active ingredient,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, MD, said in a press release. “Furthermore, they can make matters worse by providing consumers with a false sense of protection.”

Remind patients that only two antiviral drugs have been approved by the FDA for the treatment and prophylaxis of 2009 H1N1 influenza virus infection-Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) and Relenza (zanamivir)-and that these drugs are available only by prescription.