The FDA says they are finding fake pills of the federally-approved weight loss product called Alli.
The FDA says the maker of the pill, GlaxoSmithKline, tested counterfeit Alli pills sold over the internet, and found the fake version did not contain the active ingredient Orlistat. Instead, the fake alli pills had the controlled substance Sibutramine. Federal officials say Sibutramine can be dangerous if it interacts with other drugs a person is taking.
The counterfeit Alli product looks similar to the authentic product, with a few notable differences. The counterfeit Alli has:
-Outer cardboard packaging missing a “Lot” code; Expiration date that includes the month, day, and year (e.g., 06162010); authentic Alli expiration date includes only the month and year (e.g.,: 05/12)
-Packaging in a plastic bottle that has a slightly taller and wider cap with coarser ribbing than the genuine product
-Plain foil inner safety seal under the plastic cap without any printed words; the authentic product seal is printed with “SEALED for YOUR PROTECTION”
-Contains larger capsules with a white powder, instead of small white pellets
Consumers who believe they have received counterfeit Alli are asked to contact the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) by calling 800-551-3989 or by visiting the OCI Web site, www.fda.gov/OCI.
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