RPSGB warns against counterfeit drugs for swine flu

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The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) issued a warning to the public about the risks of buying online medicines for swine influenza, such as Tamiflu or Relenza.

David Pruce, RPSGB Director of Policy said:

“With the current fears about swine flu, we are concerned that unscrupulous people are exploiting the public’s fears about swine flu by offering to sell the antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza over the internet.

“This is a golden opportunity for counterfeiters to offer fake supplies of these drugs. People can be at real risk if they buy medicines from unknown sources.

“In particular, the public should not be taken in by spam e-mails offering to supply Tamiflu or Relenza. Most of the drugs offered in this way turn out to be counterfeit and may contain anything from sugar to more dangerous substances that can seriously put health at risk.

“The public should also be reminded that it is never a good idea to obtain a prescription-only medicine without a valid prescription. The medicine may not be suitable for you or could result in unpleasant side-effects or serious health risks.

“If you have any concerns about swine flu, or think you may be infected, stay at home and seek advice from your GP or NHS Direct.”

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, UK

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