Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Don't Tell: A New Way To Market A Drug

Warning - Contamination of Weight Loss Products

The period after Christmas is traditionally the time of the year when many try to reduce weight, using whatever means available to do so. Many look to so called “Natural Products”, and in the market there are weight reduction products which make claims that are not regulated. It is also well known that active prescription only drugs have been sneaked into many such natural products in an attempt to make a quick buck. This of course involves some drug firms manufacturing the pharmaceutical ingredients in the first place.

According to the
FDA, it looks like Sanofi-Aventis (a major European drug company) has secretly introduced a controversial diet drug Zimulti into a diet pill called Phyto Shape. In fact, more than 25 weight loss products against which the FDA warned consumers were found to contain undeclared prescription-strength medicines that could endanger people’s health.

The picture is now becoming sinister, like in a John Grisham novel.

The obesity drug Zimulti was denied approval in the U.S. and in October was pulled off the market in Europe out of concerns over psychiatric side effects, including depression. This drug belongs to a group called rimonabants, and has been sold in Europe under the name of Acomplia.

The FDA says in a Q&A that another powerful drug, Sibutramine, a controlled substance that is the active ingredient in Abbott’s approved prescription weight-loss pill Meridia, has been found in products such as 24 Hours Diet and ProSlim Plus. Some of these diet aids contain more than three times the recommended daily dosage of Sibutramine, putting people at risk of harmful side effects such as increased blood pressure, tachycardia, palpitations, and seizure.

There appears to be a new and serious way to market a drug: DON’T TELL.


Anonymous said...

This sounds scarry. How are we to know what is safe.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. What are your sources?

Am Ang Zhang said...

The official FDA site (click the connection on the blog and you can see it.) Thanks for visiting