Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FDA warns fake and “potentially harmful” versions of the Alli diet aid being sold online. -The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and GlaxoSmithKline are warning consumers of fake and “potentially harmful” versions of the Alli diet aid being sold online. Offered on auction sites — including eBay

— the counterfeit Alli looks like the real thing on the outside, but doesn’t have the same diet drug on the inside.

Alli, an over-the-counter diet aid, features the active ingredient orlistat to help users with weight loss. The fake pills being sold online are made with sibutramine, which requires a doctor’s prescription and could be extremely harmful if taken without supervision.

GlaxoSmithKline offers these tips to identify if you have the real deal or not. Fake pills can be identified by:

- 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 web site and on the FDA web site.

If you think you may have purchased the fake Alli, contact the FDA on their site or by calling 800-551-3989.