ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration issued a consumer warning Thursday about a potentially harmful product represented as “generic Tamiflu” sold over the Internet.
FDA tests revealed that the fraudulent product does not contain Tamiflu’s active ingredient, oseltamivir, but cloxacillin, an ingredient in the same class of antibiotics as penicillin, the government agency said.
Although the FDA bought the fraudulent “generic Tamiflu” without a prescription from a website claiming to be an online drug store that is no longer operational, the fraudulent version likely is to be found for sale on other websites.
“A rogue Internet website marketing drug products may look like a professional and legitimate website, but may actually be an illegal operation,” said FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg. “Medicines purchased from websites operating outside the law put consumers at increased risk due to a higher potential that the products will be counterfeit, impure, contaminated, or have too little or too much of the active ingredient.”
The FDA-purchased product arrived in an envelope postmarked from India, containing two foil-backed blister packages each with 15 yellow and tan capsules containing white powder. The foil backing is printed, and labeled in part, “Oseltamivir phosphate 75mg. capsules TM-FLU capsules” and “Manufactured by: TRYDRUGS Pharmaceuticals PVT. LTD.”