January 19, 2001, 12:00 AM

Drugstore.com alerts customers to FDA warning

Don Davis

Editor in Chief

Drugstore.com this week notified more than 10,000 customers electronically of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's safety warning on over-the-counter medications containing phenylpropanolamine (PPA). The Bellvue, Wash.-based web retailer has halted sales of the more than 50 products that contain PPA, which has been linked to increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke. Drugstore.comÕs eMedAlert program is a private, electronic notification process that informs customers of FDA safety warnings and recalls. "The Internet offers an unprecedented opportunity to do more than broadcast safety warnings through the mass media; it gives us a chance to directly contact individuals who have purchased an unsafe product," says Any Sterachis, drugstore.com's chief pharmacist. Visitors who search the site for products containing PPA also are being alerted to the FDA's safety concerns.

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