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FDA Warns of Unapproved and Illegal H1N1 Drug Products Purchased Over the Internet
Date:10/15/2009

SILVER SPRING, Md., Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned consumers to use extreme care when purchasing any products over the Internet that claim to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 influenza virus. The warning comes after the FDA recently purchased and analyzed several products represented online as Tamiflu (oseltamivir), which may pose risks to patients.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090824/FDALOGO )

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. When analyzed by the FDA, the tablets were found to contain talc and acetaminophen, but none of the active ingredient oseltamivir. The Web site disappeared shortly after the FDA placed the order. At the same time, the FDA also purchased four other products purported to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 influenza virus from other Web sites.

These products contained various levels of oseltamivir but were not approved for use in the United States. Several of the products purchased did not require a prescription from a health care professional. Additionally, the products did not arrive in a timely enough fashion to treat someone infected with the H1N1 influenza virus, or with an immediate exposure to the virus.

"Products that are offered for sale online with claims to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat or cure the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus must be carefully evaluated," said Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. "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
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SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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