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FDA warns against fraudulent H1N1 products

Category: Infectious Diseases

Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a warning letter to a website that was advertising fraudulent supplements that administrators claimed help prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu virus.

The letter, which is the first jointly-issued warning by the two government agencies, threatens legal action if the website's owners do not cease and desist their deceitful marketing practices. Since May 2009, the FDA has forewarned more than 75 websites to stop the sale of more than 135 products claiming to defend against the 2009 swine flu strain.

"Products that are offered for sale with claims to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat or cure the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus must be carefully evaluated," said Commissioner of Food and Drugs Dr Margaret Hamburg. "Unless these products are proven to be safe and effective for the claims that are made, it is not known whether they will prevent" the H1N1 virus.

Phony H1N1 flu products may include dietary supplements and false drugs, medical devices or vaccines.

Currently, FDA-approved swine flu vaccines include products manufactured by CSL Limited, MedImmune, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Limited.
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