FDA warns public of extortion scam by FDA impersonators



As of 1 December 2008, the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe has reported a total of 11 735 cholera cases with 484 deaths since August 2008, affecting all provinces in the country. The overall case fatality rate is 4% but has reached up to 20?C30% in remote areas. Out of the total number of cases,

Full Post: Cholera outbreaks in Zimbabwe

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about a fraudulent scheme to extort money from consumers by callers who falsely identify themselves as “FDA special agents” or other FDA officials.

Several instances have been reported to the FDA of calls enticing consumers to purchase discounted prescription drugs by wiring funds to one of several locations in the Dominican Republic. No medications are ever delivered. A subsequent call is received from a fraudulent “FDA special agent” informing the consumer that a fine of several thousand dollars is required to be sent to an address in the Dominican Republic to prevent incarceration or other legal action.

“Impersonating an FDA official is a violation of federal law,” said Michael Chappell, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The public should note that no FDA official will ever contact a consumer by phone demanding money or any other form of payment. FDA officials always present identification in person when conducting official business.”

Consumers should note that the fraudulent calls appear to be from telephone numbers located within the United States, but are in fact from either ported voice-over-the-Internet-protocol numbers (calls made directly from a computer and moved or “ported” to other computers to avoid detection) or cellular phones. Reports to FDA describe the callers as having Hispanic accents.

The scheme most likely began with the theft of personal information from consumers who previously purchased drugs via the Internet or telephone or who were victims of credit card fraud.

The FDA is investigating and complaints or information regarding this scheme should be reported to the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations at (800) 521-5783.

The FDA reminds consumers to purchase prescription drugs only from licensed pharmacies located in the United States. Information about the proper purchase of on-line medicine can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/consumer/features/drugsonline0707.html.

http://www.fda.gov

Link




A food scare in Britain involving pork from Ireland has forced all major supermarkets to remove all Irish pork products from their shelves because of concerns they may contain toxic dioxins. Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) says tests on pork sourced from the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland have revealed the possible contamination with potentially

Full Post: Dioxins in Irish pork causes food scare in Britain



A scheme to provide diners in Britain with calorie information on menus is set to be introduced there this summer. The calorie labelling scheme comes from the food watchdog the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and follows a survey which found people want more information about the food they buy in restaurants and cafes. The FSA

Full Post: Calorie info on menus for Brits in battle of the bulge



LegitScript, an online pharmacy certification program, announced today that it has succeeded in getting nearly 500 “rogue” Internet pharmacy websites shut down. The sites had been selling prescription drugs or steroids without requiring a prescription, a practice that is illegal and considered unsafe by medical authorities. In most cases, the drugs were sold from outside

Full Post: LegitScript shuts down 500 no-prescription-required online pharmacies



According to researchers in the United States about 2.2 million seniors put themselves at high risk for drug interactions - they say many non-prescription medication, which are bought over-the-counter (OTC) can produce a harmful drug interactions. The researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center say more attention is needed for non-prescription medications and

Full Post: Seniors warned about mixing OTC and prescription drugs



Face-to-face and telephone follow-up sessions appear to be more effective in the maintenance of weight loss for women from rural communities compared with weight loss education alone, according to a report in the November 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. In addition, telephone counseling appears to be just as effective as face-to-to face counseling

Full Post: Telephone counseling may be as effective as face-to-face counseling in weight loss maintenance