The FDA clamp down on 'generic Tamiflu'
21st February 2013
tamifluAs the UK’s bitterly cold winter season slowly comes to an end, the number of influenza cases will probably start to decrease and thus the need for the effective widely used medication Tamiflu will simultaneously lessen somewhat. However, as the 2009 Swine flu pandemic proved, varying types of flu can strike at any time of the year – not just the winter months, and absolutely anybody is at risk of developing the potentially serious condition that is identifiable by symptoms including: a sudden onset of fever (more than 37.8°C), cough, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, muscle aches and often extreme fatigue. Tamiflu has a dual use in that it can be taken to prevent contracting flu following exposure to an infected person such as a friend or family member, or if infected, it is a highly effective method of treatment as it works at stopping the influenza virus from spreading around the body and easing the symptoms. Failure to treat flu before it advances into a more serious health problem may not be the only thing to now consider according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who this week released warnings to the general public about fake flu products that are now being marketed on the internet. Said products are not just a waste of your money, but they can be incredibly harmful and consumers must be aware that Tamiflu is not manufactured in a generic version either in the U.S. or here in the UK. The FDA have also fired warning letters to ten separate online supplement suppliers since January 24, demanding they cease the production and sale of medicines marketed as generic versions of the prescription flu treatment Tamiflu in addition to the use of misleading labelling of products being marketed as ‘flu remedies’. In one of these strongly worded letters, the FDA warned that a drug distributor — ‘Supplementality LLC’ — were guilty of ‘improperly offering products intended to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure the flu virus’. Gary Coody, a pharmacist and the FDA’s national health fraud coordinator, warned: “Unapproved antiviral products could be contaminated or counterfeit. They could contain the wrong medications. In the past we’ve tested products purported to be Tamiflu and found acetaminophen alone or penicillin derivatives, and those could pose some serious problems. We want people to take effective preventive measures against the flu. Not only could they be getting something totally ineffective, they could have a false sense of protection.” Coody says the fact that some companies offer supplements that claim to neutralise the flu or even serve as replacements for the flu shot is both outrageous and dangerous – as people who purchase them assume they are safe being exposed to flu virus when in reality they are not. Genuine Tamiflu, manufactured by Roche, is available today from Medical Specialists Pharmacy from as little as £21.98 per pack following an online consultation with one of our GMC-registered doctors. We dramatically lowered the price of Tamiflu back in 2012 to help out all new and existing patients during this difficult recession.