FDA, FTC warn against phony H1N1 products

May 4, 2009 at 9:42 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 4 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission say consumers should be wary of products said to prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 virus.

"Consumers who purchase products to treat the novel 2009 H1N1 virus that are not approved, cleared or authorized by the FDA for the treatment or prevention of influenza risk their health and the health of their families," said Michael Chappell, acting FDA associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "In conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission, the FDA has developed an aggressive strategy to identify, investigate, and take regulatory or criminal action against individuals or businesses that wrongfully promote purported 2009 H1N1 influenza products in an attempt to take advantage of the current flu public health emergency."

H!N! is also known as swine flu.

Officials said many deceptive products are being sold over the Internet via illegitimate Web sites.

"The last thing any consumer needs right now is to be conned by someone selling fraudulent flu remedies," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "The FTC will act swiftly against companies that resort to deceptive advertising."

The two ant-iviral drugs approved by the FDA for treatment and prophylaxis of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus are Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) and Relenza (zanamivir).

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