Counterfeit Alli Drug Sold Online Dangerous

Consumers are being warned by the United States Food and Drug Authority (FDA) Saturday, January 23, that counterfeit versions of the over-the-counter diet pill Alli maybe dangerous to health.orlistat-alli

The original drug (pictured) is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The fake version contains high levels of sibutramine, a substance found in the drug Meridia by Abbott Laboratories, Inc. Meridia has already been pulled out for sales in Europe after it was learned that sibutramine gives higher risk for heart attacks and strokes.

“A person taking the counterfeit Alli as directed would be exposed to twice the maximum prescription dose of sibutramine every day,” said Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of FDA Drug Unit.

The counterfeit Alli is purchased over the internet and there is no evidence yet that it is being sold in retail. It is being sold as a 60 milligram 120 capsule refillable kit.

GSK has promised to work together with the FDA to remove the fake products online. It also promised to release guidelines on determining the difference between the original and the counterfeit versions.

Some of the differences are:

  • the fake one has a doesn’t have a “LOT” code
  • the expiration date is month-day-year in the fake while it is month-year in the original
  • the fake doesn’t have the words “SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION” in the top foil seal
  • the fake capsule size is larger and has a powdery content
  • the genuine product has a pellet shape

GSK is the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company.