A.G. warns of illegal and mislabeled diet pills

A.G. warns of illegal and mislabeled diet pills

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Mississippi Attorney General's office.

Attorney General Jim Hood warns Mississippians today to be aware of fake diet pills that are illegally being advertised and distributed over the internet.

"The internet is a leading source for the sale of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other such dangerous goods," said Attorney General Jim Hood. "Counterfeit drugs are normally loaded with unsafe or ineffective substances, either of which can be deadly or cause permanent damage."

A recent federal multi-state investigation showed that diet pills containing sibutramine, a Schedule IV controlled substance, have been falsely labeled and marketed as "all natural" dietary supplements with herbal ingredients. The Mississippi Attorney General's Office assisted in this investigation.

Sibutramine is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Meridia, a prescription weight loss drug removed from the market in 2010 following studies that showed significantly increased risk of strokes and heart attacks. Since the removal of Meridia, no drug containing sibutramine has been approved for use in humans in the United States. This dietary supplement, imported from manufacturers based in China, has been sold under various names, such as "Slim Forte Slimming Capsules," "Slim Forte Double Power Slimming Capsules," "Slim-Vie Slimming Capsules," and "Slim-Vie Double Power Slimming Capsules."

Attorney General Hood states, "Although our office has not yet received information of a Mississippi consumer who purchased these specific pills, new scams arise almost daily and we make a diligent effort to educate the public as we discover them."

Anyone who feels they may have already fallen victim to purchasing these fake diet pills can call the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office at 1-800-281-4418 for more assistance. Health care professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA. For more information regarding dietary supplements and to report adverse events, please visit the FDA's website at http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements.

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