FDA Warns Consumers About Fraudulent Flu Products

tissue box, thermometer, and flu medication
Roni Shye
Roni Shye, PharmD BCGP BCACP, is a licensed pharmacist in the states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
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Due to the severity of this year’s flu, pharmaceutical companies have been trying to figure out simplified treatment options for those that have contracted the flu, as well as preventative measures. However, there are also other companies out there that are trying to profit from consumers who have been affected by the flu, producing fraudulent flu products.

In a recent FDA News Release, the FDA is warning the public of unapproved and fraudulent flu products that some companies are selling both online and in retail stores. These fraudulent products have not been reviewed by the FDA to be safe and effective and could cause a lot of harm to an unsuspecting buyer.

How do I spot a fraudulent flu product?

If a drug claims to do any of the following, it is probably fraudulent.

It is important to keep in mind that there are over-the-counter medicati0ons available to treat some of the symptoms associated with the flu, like a fever or muscle aches. However, products that claim to prevent, or treat the flu are considered fraudulent, as they have not been evaluated by the FDA.

How do I know if an online pharmacy is legitimate?

When it comes to health fraud scams you must also be aware of online pharmacies.  There are legitimate online pharmacies but there are also fraudulent online pharmacies whose websites appear professional and legitimate but actually aren’t.  

According to the FDA, the following are red flags that an online pharmacy may not be legitimate:

If you have questions about the legitimacy of an online pharmacy check out the FDA’s Consumer Update on how to purchase medications safely from an online pharmacy.  

The FDA also has a national campaign called BeSafeRx – Know Your Online Pharmacy to educate consumers about the dangers of buying medicine from fake online pharmacies and help people safely buy medicine online.

Be safe out there!

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