The Los Angeles police has arrested the man who had invented the Zicam cold treatment and has pressed federal charges stating that he had illegally sold a drug claiming to cure bird flu in 2005.
Charles Hensley was indicted by the Los Angeles federal grand jury last month for selling a drug known as Vira 38 even though it had not been approved by the FDA for treating bird flu. Hensley claimed that the drug was effective in preventing and treating influenza and bird flu.
Assistant US attorney, Pio Kim said that Hensley first tried to sell the drug in Hong Kong but when it was not approved by the authorities, he started to market the drug on the internet through his company, PRB Pharmaceuticals' website and sold over 26 bottles of Vira 38 to American customers.
Hensley was arrested from his home on Wednesday and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday. His lawyer, Richard Jaffe said that the product was made up of commonly available ingredients and said that it did not warrant a federal prosecution since it had not done any harm. "As bad of shape as the federal government is in, this is a case you have to prosecute? No one was harmed. Is this really worthy of a federal prosecution?" he asked