Fake Alli on web

On January 21, 2010, in Uncategorized, by Andrea

While this is a WLS-centric blog, there may be some out there that MAY be considering using the drug Alli to help lose weight.

For the few of you who have had WLS and are considering trying to use it, btw, it’s not a helpful tool.  It really only works if you eat a higher threshold of fat — and considering we limit our fat consumption (or are supposed to at least…) it’s fairly useless.

In any case, in case there are any out there that are considering buying Alli out on the web, be forewarned — there be fakes out there.

From myalli.com:

Online Auction Sites Selling Fake Weight Loss Products

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare alerts consumers that a small quantity of fake weight loss product, falsely packaged and labeled as alli® has been sold on online auction websites, such as eBay. The falsely packaged and labeled products are the 60mg, 120ct refill packs only. The products are sold on online auction sites directly to consumers and are falsely represented as the genuine alli product. We do not have any evidence that counterfeit alli products have penetrated other distribution channels.

Preliminary testing confirms that the counterfeit products do not contain the active ingredient orlistat, which is found in the authentic alli product. The prescription drug sibutramine has been detected in the fake product. Sibutramine is the active ingredient in the prescription drug, Meridia. Sibutramine could potentially interact with other medications the consumer may be taking and there are dosing differences between alli (three times a day) and Meridia (once a day).

While many of these counterfeit products may look similar to GSK’s products, they are illegal and have no connection with GSK or FDA. GSK Consumer Healthcare, along with FDA has initiated efforts to identify those responsible for counterfeit products.

HOW TO IDENTIFY THE FAKE PRODUCT:

  • The LOT code information is missing from the top of the box
  • The expiration date includes month, day and year (example: 06162010); The authentic alli expiration date includes only the month and year (example: 05/12)
  • The seal on the bottle should read “SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION” in white ink on the GSK alli bottle; This statement is not present on the fake product
  • The capsule size is slightly larger in the counterfeit and the content inside of the capsule is different – the counterfeit content is powdery and the genuine product is more of a pellet shape.

WHAT CONSUMERS SHOULD DO:

  • Buy alli only from reputable retailers or from their branded online websites. When purchased from these reputable retailers, consumers can have confidence the product is genuine and they should continue use.
  • Consumers who suspect they have purchased counterfeit alli are urged to contact the FDA at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/email/oc/oci/contact.cfm
  • Consumers can visit www.myalli.com for more information.

VISUALS WITH SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISONS:

From Medscape:

Fake Alli Sold on Internet

Daniel J. DeNoon

January 19, 2010 — Fake, “potentially harmful” versions of the weight loss drug Alli are being sold on Internet auction sites such as eBay, the FDA and GlaxoSmithKline warn.

The counterfeit Alli looks a lot like the real thing. But the pills are filled not with orlistat — the main ingredient in GSK’s Alli and in Roche’s Xenical. Instead, they are filled with sibutramine.

Sibutramine, the main ingredient in the prescription weight loss drug Meridia, affects chemical signals in the brain and should not be used without a doctor’s oversight. The drug should not be used by certain people.

Moreover, Alli is taken three times daily while Meridia is meant to be taken only once a day.

So far, the fake Alli has been sold only in 60 milligram, 120-count refill packs. They are falsely being sold as the real thing.

To date, GlaxoSmithKline says it has received no word that the fake Alli has been sold in retail stores or anyplace other than on the Internet.

Here’s how to identify the fake product, according to GSK:

  • The LOT code information is missing from the top of the box.
  • The expiration date includes month, day, and year (example: 06162010). The authentic Alli expiration date includes only the month and year (example: 05/12).
  • The seal on the bottle should read “SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION” in white ink on GlaxoSmithKline’s Alli bottle; This statement is not present on the fake product.
  • The capsule size is slightly larger in the counterfeit pills and the contents of the capsules are different — the counterfeit content is powdery and the genuine product is more of a pellet shape.

Pictures of the real and fake product can be seen on GlaxoSmithKline’s myalli.com web site and on the FDA web site.

If you think you may have purchased the fake Alli, the FDA would like to hear from you at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/email/oc/oci/contact.cfm or by calling 800-551-3989.

SOURCES:

News release, FDA.

News release, GlaxoSmithKline.

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