FTC order 2 pharmaceutical websites

Discussion in 'General Lounge' started by bbauer, Nov 19, 2001.

  1. bbauer

    bbauer Banned

    WASHINGTON - The government is warning dozens of Web site operators
    to stop touting unproven treatments for anthrax, smallpox and other infectious
    agents that could be used for bioterrorism.

    The treatments offered included dietary supplements such as oregano oil and
    zinc mineral water, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday. The agency
    said there is no scientific evidence for any of these alternative treatments.

    The agency has sent about 40 e-mail warnings to site operators, giving them a
    week to reply.

    "These operators need to shut down these areas of their sites or face
    prosecution," said Howard Beales, the FTC's director of consumer
    protection. "This should help put an early end to misleading marketing that
    attempts to prey on people's fears of anthrax, smallpox or any other biological
    or chemical threats."

    Beales said consumers who think they may have been exposed to some kind
    of biological or chemical agent should consult a doctor immediately.

    The FTC didn't name the Web sites being warned, but said operators who
    don't comply could be fined, banned from operating or required to repay

    The FTC has been working with the Food and Drug Administration and law
    enforcement officials in 30 states to scour the Internet for products that falsely
    claim to protect against, detect, prevent or treat biological and chemical

    The products reviewed included gas masks and protective suits; mail
    sterilizers; biohazard test kits; homeopathic remedies; and dietary supplements
    such as colloidal silver, zinc mineral water, thyme and oregano oil.

    The agencies found more than 200 Web sites marketing such products and
    many of them may also receive warning letters, the FTC said.

    The government has approved certain prescription antibiotics, not dietary
    supplements, as ways to prevent or treat anthrax, said John Taylor, director
    of the FDA's enforcement office.

    There is no proven treatment for smallpox, nor any FDA-approved home
    anthrax test.

    The FDA has already shut down several foreign pharmacies illegally selling
    Cipro on the Internet. The agency said it had no way to tell if the alleged
    Cipro sold on those Web sites was real or had been manufactured safely. It is
    illegal to sell antibiotics over the Internet without a proper doctor's

    Consumers should be particularly wary of e-mail advertisements promoting
    products for dealing with bioterrorism, the FTC said. Consumers should also
    know that some Web sites may sell ineffective drugs.

Share This Page