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H1N1 deceptions: Alive and well

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Check careful into promotion of health products online

By The Staff

The Kentucky Pharmacists Association and its 1,400 member pharmacists are urging people to exercise caution regarding questionable retailers selling so-called “swine flu treatment” via the Internet.

“The best source for questions and concerns regarding medications and vaccinations for the H1N1 virus is your local pharmacist,” said Brad Hall, executive director of the Kentucky Pharmacists Association. “We ask that people who are seeking information and products to help protect themselves against the flu call or visit their local pharmacy, and not fall for the ‘swine flu treatments’ being peddled on Web sites. In some cases, scam artists are selling Tamiflu pills that actually don’t contain the Tamiflu medicine.”

According to the Federal Drug Administration, one Web site reportedly marketed a “SilverCure Flu Protection Pack” for $199 that claimed that the silver based shampoo, soap and lotion would protect consumers against the swine flu, which the FDA said was not true.  

In addition scam artists have been sending e-mails claiming to sell products that will prevent or in some cases cure the flu, including selling antiviral medications without a doctor’s prescription.

“We encourage anyone who has a question about prescription or over-the-counter flu medications to see their local pharmacist,” Hall said.

In addition to providing accurate information and recommendations on licensed prescription and over-the-counter medication to deal with swine and seasonal flu symptoms, pharmacists can also administer vaccinations for both seasonal and H1N1 flu viruses that are in most cases covered by your health insurance provider.