Excerpts and links to stories of note:
P&G VOLUNTARILY RECALLS SPECIFIC LOTS OF VICKS SINEX NASAL SPRAY IN THE UNITED STATES, GERMANY AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
CINCINNATI, Nov. 19, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) announced today it is voluntarily recalling three lots of its Vicks Sinex nasal spray in three countries: the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The company said it is taking this precautionary step after finding the bacteria B. cepacia in a small amount of product made at its plant in Gross Gerau, Germany. There have been no reports of illness. However, the bacteria could cause serious infections for individuals with a compromised immune system, or those with chronic lung conditions, such as cystic fibrosis. B. cepacia poses little medical risk to healthy individuals.
H1N1: Swine Flu Activity Down in Many States
By COURTNEY HUTCHISON, ABC News Medical Unit
Nov. 20, 2009
Health officials and health care providers in many areas of the country are breathing a sigh of relief — albeit a cautious one — as the number of confirmed cases of H1N1, as well as flu-related emergency room visits and ICU cases, begins to decline.
While there is still widespread flu activity in many regions, surveillance data in at least seven states suggest that this fall’s surge in H1N1 flu activity is starting to subside. Additionally, ABC News heard from 30 hospitals throughout the country that say flu activity is down.
And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a comment to ABC News, said that 2009 H1N1 activity is declining in a number of areas around the country, though they caution that levels are still well above what is expected for influenza at this time of year, and could surge again.
FDA targets rogue Internet pharmacies
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is pressuring a number of Internet service providers to shut off nearly 12 dozen Web sites alleged to be selling counterfeit or unapproved prescription drugs.
The FDA’s office of criminal investigations said it sent 22 warning letters to the operators of the sites, and alerted the appropriate ISPs and domain name registrars that the sites were selling phony pharmaceuticals, all without requiring a prescription. The agency said none of the sites represent pharmacies located in the United States or Canada, as most claim.
According to the letters sent to owners of the 136 targeted sites, the online stores hawked everything from powerful controlled substances, including Valium and Xanax, to lifestyle drugs like Viagra and Levitra. Some sites even offered prescription drugs that have not yet been approved for distribution or sale in the United States, such as the anti-obesity drug Acomplia.
Crackdown targets counterfeit drugs
By Ylan Q. Mui
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 20, 2009
NEW YORK — In highly orchestrated raids around the world this week, Interpol officers in Europe, drug agents in the United States and task forces from Sweden to Singapore hunted down counterfeit prescription drugs in an effort to stem a rapidly growing criminal business preying on financially pressed consumers looking for bargains.
The operation, code-named Pangea, is expected to be disclosed Friday in an effort to put fraudulent businesses on notice that police around the world are fighting back against what has become a $28 million industry in the United States alone.