Fake bird flu drugs reach the U.S.

Custom officers in the U.S. have seized 51 shipments of a fake anti-bird flu drug.

The counterfeit medication had been shipped from Asia to an airmail facility in San Francisco, and Customs and Border Protection officers say each box contained 10 to 50 individual pills.

The drugs had apparently been purchased through Internet sites for personal use.

Following the seizure, Food and Drug Administration officials have said the drugs were found to be inconsistent with the authentic Tamiflu product manufactured by drug company Roche.

San Francisco Director of Field Operations for border control, Nat Aycox, says the prospect of useless or harmful counterfeit avian flu medicine being sent around the world and people depending on it to keep themselves healthy, is a frightening one.

To date the H5N1 strain of avian flu has infected and killed as many as 70 people in Southeast Asia and scientists fear the virus will mutate into a pandemic human strain with the potential of killing millions.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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