PhRMA seeks to distinguish legitimate, fake H1N1 treatments

WASHINGTON At a time when concerns have arisen among consumers about phony products to treat and prevent influenza A(H1N1) sold over the Internet, pharmaceutical companies want the Food and Drug Administration to adopt a simple way for consumers to distinguish between reputable online sources of information about drugs.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the main trade group representing branded pharmaceutical and biotech companies, has suggested a logo for trusted Web sites containing FDA-regulated information for consumers and healthcare professionals.

“Given the unprecedented growth of the Internet as a source of health information, the FDA should facilitate the appropriate use of online media by America’s pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies to provide FDA-regulated information on medicines,” PhRMA SVP Ken Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson said that using the FDA’s logo or an agency-approved graphic symbol in search results and throughout the Web would inform patients that they were visiting a legitimate site with FDA-regulated information.

“Already, biopharmaceutical companies provide the only FDA-regulated promotional information about medicines online,” Johnson said.

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