FDA, FTC take action against fradulent ads of products for swine flu
ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission have taken action against Web sites that advertise fraudulent products for the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, popularly known as swine flu.
The two agencies urged the public Friday to be wary of Web sites and other promotions for products that claim to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat or cure the virus and advising companies that operate the Web sites that they must take prompt action to correct or remove promotions of the products lest they face enforcement action.
“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,” FDA acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs Michael Chappell said in a statement. “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 and businesses that wrongfully promote purported 2009 H1N1 influenza products in an attempt to take advantage of the current flu public health emergency.”
Convenient Care Association set to provide ‘first line of defense’ against illnesses
PHILADELPHIA The Convenient Care Association, the retail clinic industry’s member-based organization that has more than 1,200 member clinics in 30 states, has announced that its members are prepared to help patients in light of the spreading risk of the swine flu, as well as ongoing incidence of seasonal flu.
“Convenient Care clinics provide a first line of defense against illnesses such as the flu,” stated Tine Hansen-Turton, executive director of the CCA. “They are accessible and responsive to the public, and are equipped to contribute to the broader public health response around the country.”
Those nurse practitioners, physician assistants and physicians working within retail-based clinics are available to answer patients’ questions; provide diagnosis and treatment; write prescriptions for such anti-viral medications as Tamiflu and Relenza, as clinically necessary; and triage patients to other sources of care. At some clinic locations rapid testing for type A influenza is available.
Clinics are working with local health officials and receiving updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization. Clinicians adhere to CDC infection control precautions, including the use of surgical masks, gloves, and gowns, if appropriate, the CCA stated.
According to the CDC, the following recommendations may help prevent transmission of the flu virus: cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then dispose of the tissue in the trash; wash your hands frequently using soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers; avoid contact with those who are sick and stay home from work or school if you think you might be sick; avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.
The Natural Products Foundation promotes new program
WASHINGTON The Natural Products Foundation on Thursday sent out an e-mail blast encouraging donations to its new program, called Health Match, “that allows companies who manufacture vitamins, supplements, nutrition bars, personal care items and other natural products to directly contribute these goods to clinics and organizations that help AIDS victims, cancer patients, the malnourished and many others.”
“The current economic climate has been extremely difficult for many people,” wrote Tracy Taylor, NPF executive director. “All over the country, healthcare programs for the disadvantaged are experiencing an increase in patients needing services and a decrease in funding, creating a huge material disparity in these already stressed programs.”
The Healthy Match program will connect companies willing to donate products and the healthcare programs that need them, Taylor said.