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  The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Monday, February 18, 2013

FDA Warning to Consumers: "Beware of Fake Flu Meds"

Fake Flu Meds

They have already sent out warning letters to companies demanding that they cease deceptive labeling of products as flu remedies and stop selling medicines marketed as generic versions of the prescription flu treatment Tamiflu.

The FDA is also warning consumers about marketing claims that suggest products can neutralize the flu or serve as replacements for the flu shot. Those claims, says Coody, are “outrageous.” Not to mention dangerous since people might buy them and, thinking they’re protected, may expose themselves to the flu.

In the past week, the agency has sent nine warning letters to firms marketing fraudulent flu-fighting products, including an online seller marketing a product that claims to be an alternative to the flu vaccine, three firms marketing dietary supplements online (letters co-signed by the Federal Trade Commission), and a firm selling an oral spray online and in major retail stores.

The remaining four warning letters were issued to online firms selling what they claim to be generic and other unapproved versions of oseltamivir phosphate, the active ingredient in Tamiflu. The real Tamiflu, however, is an FDA-approved brand-name drug, but no generic Tamiflu is approved in the U.S.

Here are some names of fake brands to look out for:
- Antiflu®
- Anything other than Tamiflu™ (oseltamivir) and Relenza™ (zanamivir) - both are approved by FDA
- Anything labeled as "an alternative"
- Anything labeled as "stop flu naturally"
- Anything being sold at a significantly lower amount than the market price
- Anything being sold by an individual/web site, and not a trusted retailer

For more details about the warning, visit:
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