Published Online: Friday, June 1, 2007
<p>Federal drug regulators are warning the public to avoid 2 dozen Internet pharmacy sites that officials say may be involved in the distribution of counterfeit prescription medicines.</p>
<p>FDA officials obtained evidence that at least 3 of the apparently related Web sites were distributing counterfeit versions of Hoffmann-La Roche&rsquo;s antiobesity drug Xenical 120 mg. Tests by Roche found that none of the capsules ordered from the Internet sites contained orlistat, the active ingredient in authentic Xenical.</p>
<p>Instead, the laboratory analysis confirmed that most of the Internet drugs were composed of only talc and starch. Worse yet, at least one capsule contained sibutramine&mdash;an ingredient in Abbott&rsquo;s competing drug, Meridia.</p>
<p>Roche identified the 2 Web sites involved in this incident as <a href="www.brand pills.com" target="_blank">www.brand pills.com</a> and <a href="www.pillspharm.com" target="_blank">www.pillspharm.com</a>.</p>
<p>Both of these sites appear to be associated with a larger group of 24 Internet sites under investigation for alleged distribution of counterfeit oseltamivir phosphate (Tamiflu) and counterfeit tadalafil (Cialis).</p>
<p>&ldquo;At this point, it appears that these Web sites are operated from outside of the United States,&rdquo; said FDA officials. &ldquo;Consumers should be wary, if there is no way to contact the Web site pharmacy by phone, if prices are dramatically lower than the competition, or if no prescription from your doctor is required.&rdquo;</p>
<p>A listing of the 24 Web sites can be found at <a href="www.pharmacycall365.com" target="_blank">www.pharmacycall365.com</a>.</p>

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