Monday, May 4, 2009

Fake Swine Flu Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) have announced that the public should be cautious
about products said to prevent, treat or cure the Swine Flu virus,
saying use of unauthorized or unapproved products could put people's
health at risk.

The government agencies say that they are "aggressively" investigating
phony flu products and/or claims.

The Canadian government made an official announcement on its website
that warned the public that although there are two anti-viral drugs
that could help prevent or reduce symptoms of the flu - including
Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir) - there are NO products
that are approved for direct sale to the public that would
specifically treat or guard against the H1N1 flu virus. Tamiflu and
Relenza are available only by prescription via a doctor or authorized
medical professional. The Canadians also caution that the medicines be
given only when the illness is diagnosed as being "moderate" or
"severe" and if the patient is at high risk of complications of flu -
such as existing respiratory ailments. The agency states that if taken
within 48 hours after getting sick, Tamiflu or Relenza can help reduce
symptoms, shorten the length of illness and potentially reduce serious

The Canadian health agency is also warning against claims for
"generic" versions of Tamiflu or Relenza, saying no such generics have
been approved and that such products could have dangerous additives in
them. The agency states that consumers should be very wary of buying
drugs over the Internet. For example, an online provider such as offers a package of 30, 10-milligram capsules of
Tamiflu for $88.65. At a "herbal alternative to Tamiflu"
called Defend-Rx is being advertised for $24.98 for a supply of 45
tablets. The site says the demand has been so heavy that they are
currently out of stock. But, the site claims that the product is "the
world's only natural weapon against bird flu (Avian Flu). But, it also
claims the ingredients in the product are "the main component in

The FTC suggests that the public report any suspected fraudulent Swine
Flu products to the FDA at
Also, anyone who wants to file a complaint against a company that they
think is trying to advertise or sell swine flu products can call the
FTC at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe is Boston's largest newspaper. It is also one of the most
widely-read newspapers in our country's northeastern region. The first
issue of the Boston Globe was published on March 4, 1872. This makes
the newspaper over one hundred years old!

Since 1993, the Boston Globe has been owned by the New York Times. The
online edition, was launched in 1995. Although the Boston
Globe has a rich history, that does not make it immune to the current
economic crisis. On April 2 of this year, the parent that owns the
Boston Globe threatened to close its doors if unions don't agree to
$20 million in cost savings.

The parent's ultimatum was not an empty threat. The Boston Globe may
file a notice to shut down as early as today. Under the Workers
Readjustment and Retraining Notification act the company must give a
60 day notice before closing it's doors. Filing such a notice today
would mean that in July the Boston Globe would no longer exist.

Critical agreements were not reached by the midnight deadline.
However, negotiations continue as we speak. Let's keep our fingers
crossed that critical negotiations prove successful. Our country can
not afford to lose another newspaper that has such a rich history.

The Boston Globe is not the only newspaper to hit rough times. The
Rocky Mountain News in Denver shut it's doors completely. The
Christian Science Monitor and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer are now
only available in an online format. The parent company of the Chicago
Sun Times and 58 other newspapers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in
March. The future of newspapers as we know it remains a question mark.
Could it be that in the future we only can get our news online? Let's
hope not.

What can you do? Continue to buy newspapers in print edition. Every
little bit helps. As more and more traffic shifts online, we will see
more and more trouble with our nations newspapers.