The week of December 5-11 has been designated National Influenza Vaccination Week by the Center for Disease Control(CDC).
Last year, during the 2009-2010 flu season there was much concern over the possibility of a worldwide pandemic caused by the H1N1 swine flu virus. Rogue Internet pharmacies and their suppliers sought to take advantage of vaccine shortage fears by offering unapproved or counterfeit versions of Tamiflu. Adopting a different but equally deceptive strategy, rogue herbal affiliate programs sought to take advantage of those who feared the vaccine might be harmful by claiming their “all natural” products could cure influenza. Despite reduced flu warnings for the 2010-2011 season, these pharmacy websites continue to perpetrate fraudulent advertising of counterfeit tamiflu pills or worthless herbal products.
Counterfeit Generic Tamiflu subject of warnings from both US and France
In June 2010 the FDA issued a public warning about Internet websites selling counterfeit tamiflu products as “generic tamiflu”.
The FDA obtained samples of these products and determined that these counterfeit pills did not contain the active oseltamivir phosphate ingredient found in authentic Tamiflu pills. The misbranded, counterfeit pills contained cloxacillin, an antibiotic in the same class of antibiotics as penicillin.
These counterfeit pills pose a serious health risk. Any individual with a penicillin allergy would be at risk of suffering a life-threatening allergic reaction to the cloxacillin. The national health agency in France confirmed the same results in the fall of 2010 in a statement concerning Operation Pangea, an international effort to identify and shutdown counterfeit drug operations.
The counterfeit pills tested by the FDA identified the manufacturer as TRYDRUGS PharmaceuticalsPVT. LTD, Hyderabad, India. While several rogue pharmacy networks monitored by LegitScript market generic tamiflu, one network specifically identifies their supplier as TRYDRUGSPharmaceuticals. This network is identified as “Best Products Solution Limited”, a rogue drug and tobacco seller operating unregulated from Moldova and other locations. A sample template from one of these rogue websites is:
THE BPSL affiliate websites describe their operation as a “European” pharmacy. Is that true? Well…no. Websites in this network also provides contact locations in Brooklyn, New York, Victoria Maher, Seychelles and Chisinau, Republica Moldova. The headquarters of the criminal network are in Moldova, but as with most rogue Internet pharmacies, they exist everywhere and nowhere, leading to a complete breakdown in accountability.
The BPSL network operates websites that offer a single product or multiple products. Single product websites redirect to one of the anchor websites selling a longer of list of drugs. LegitScript has been monitoring this network since 2009 and strongly advises avoiding these websites:
During this holiday season, consumers will have many reasons to shop online. Rogue pharmacies and herbal networks will be working overtime to entice or scare you into buying products from their rogue websites. Before you shop online for medicines, vitamins or herbal supplements, consider reading the helpful buyers guide, Buying Prescription Medicine Online: A Consumer Safety Guide. And avoid websites such as the BPSL affiliates listed above, as well as any others identified as rogue or unapproved in LegitScript’s database.
For a comprehensive and easy to navigate source of information pertaining to individuals, families and professionals, visit:
For specific information about National Influenza Vaccination Week, including information about events in local cities and states, visit:
For specific information about who should get influenza vaccination and the facts about the single-shot, 2010-2011 formulation of the influenza vaccine, see:
For families with children, you can find specific information about how children benefit from flu vaccination and how to obtain low cost vaccinations on these pages: