Fake Tamiflu is one of many bogus products being sold over the Internet that claim to prevent, treat or diagnose swine flu, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The agency has issued warnings about fraudulent claims to the Web marketers of more than 140 products, ranging from sprays or devices that supposedly sterilize surfaces or the air to dietary supplements touted for strengthening the immune system, the Associated Press reported.
Shortly after swine flu emerged last spring, about 10 bogus products a day were appearing online, according to Alyson Saben, the head of the FDA swine flu consumer fraud team. That rate slowed as the flu abated in the summer, but recently "we are seeing new sites pop up," Saben said.
Fake Tamiflu causes the most concern for the FDA. The agency purchased and tested five of the products and found that one contained powdered talc and general Tylenol, but no Tamiflu. Others contained some Tamiflu but weren't approved for sale in the United States, the AP reported.
"We have no idea of the conditions under which they were manufactured. They could contain contaminated, counterfeit, impure or subpotent or superpotent ingredients," Saben said.