Department of Health and Human Services
|Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration
|College Park, MD|
From: FDA FLU TASK FORCE-CFSAN
TO: Supplements to Weight Loss
FROM: Food and Drug Administration
RE: Unapproved/Uncleared/Unauthorized Products Related to the H1N1 Flu Virus
DATE: September 3, 2009
This is to advise you that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed your website at the Internet address http://ShopPharmacyCounter.com on August 14, 2009. The FDA has determined that your website offers a product for sale that is intended to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 Flu Virus in people. This product has not been approved, cleared, or otherwise authorized by FDA for use in the diagnosis, mitigation, prevention, treatment, or cure of the H1N1 Flu Virus. This product is Defend-Rx. The marketing of this product violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDC Act) 21 U.S.C. §§ 331, 351, 352. We request that you immediately cease marketing unapproved, uncleared, or unauthorized products for the diagnosis, mitigation, prevention, treatment, or cure of the H1N1 Flu Virus.
Some examples of the claims on your website include:
- "Defend Rx is a revolutionary immune defend [sic] that acts similar to swine flu vaccine formula .... "
- "People die from swine flu and ... Defend-Rx supplement (swine flu vaccination) ... is the best medication to help your immune system fight the disease! '" The main component in DefendRx and Tamiflu is Shikimic acid that is best effective on all flu symptoms... , Defend-Rx is the herbal alternative to the Tamiflu."
- "Defend-Rx 45 tablets - the best Swine Flu defence [sic] supplement[.]"
- Under "Store News" in the "News and Announcements" section of your website, there is an item dated 4/29/2009 that states, "Defend-Rx 45 tablets (Shikimic acid and Hypericum Perforatum help treat bird flu and swine flu virus)[.]"
The Secretary of Health and Human Services, under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. § 247d, has determined that a public health emergency exists nationwide involving the H1N1 Flu Virus that affects or has the significant potential to affect national security. Following this determination and in response to requests from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FDA issued letters authorizing the emergency use of certain unapproved and uncleared products or unapproved or uncleared uses of approved or cleared products, provided certain criteria are met, under 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3. The marketing and sale of unapproved or uncleared H1N1 Flu Virus related products that are not authorized by and used in accordance with the conditions of an Emergency Use Authorization, is a potentially significant threat to the public health. Therefore, FDA is taking urgent measures to protect consumers from products that, without approval or authorization by FDA, claim to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure H1N1 Flu Virus in people.
You should take immediate action to ensure that your firm is not marketing, and does not market in the future, products intended to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat or cure the H1N1 Flu Virus that have not been approved, cleared, or authorized by the FDA. The above is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of violations. It is your responsibility to ensure that the products you market are in compliance with the FFDC Act and FDA's implementing regulations. We advise you to review your websites, product labels, and other labeling and promotional materials to ensure that the claims you make for your products do not adulterate or misbrand the products in violation of the FFDC Act 21 U.S.C. §§ 331, 351,352. Within 48 hours. please send an email to FDAFLUTASKFORCECFSAN@fda.hhs.gov, describing the actions that you have taken or plan to take to address your firm's violations. If your firm fails to take corrective action immediately, FDA may take enforcement action, such as seizure or injunction for violations of the FFDC Act without further notice. Firms that fail to take corrective action may also be referred to FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations for possible criminal prosecution for violations of the FFDC Act and other federal laws.
FDA is advising consumers not to purchase or use H1N1 Flu Virus-related products offered for sale that have not been approved, cleared, or authorized by FDA. Your firm will be added to a published list on FDA's website of firms and websites that have received warning letters from FDA concerning marketing unapproved, uncleared, and unauthorized H1N1 Flu Virus-related products in violation of the FFDC Act. This list can be found at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/h1n1flu. Once the violative claims and/or products have been removed from your website, and these corrective actions have been confirmed by the FDA, the published list will be updated to indicate that your firm has taken appropriate corrective action.
If you are not located in the United States, please note that unapproved. uncleared, or unauthorized products intended to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, treat, or cure the H1N1 Flu Virus offered for importation into the United States are subject to detention and refusal of admission. We will advise the appropriate regulatory or law enforcement officials in the country from which you operate that FDA considers your product listed above to be an unapproved, uncleared, or unauthorized product that cannot be legally sold to consumers in the United States.
Please direct any inquiries concerning this letter to FDA at FDAFLUTASKFORCECFSAN@fda.hhs.gov or by contacting Standra Purnell at (301) 436-1613.
Office of Compliance
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
This page was posted on January 31, 2010.