FDA Warns of Fake Xenical Sold on Internet

Web sites appear to be operated from outside the United States and none of the capsules contain Xenical

WEDNESDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning Tuesday that counterfeit versions of the weight loss and weight maintenance drug Xenical are being sold by a number of Web sites. Some of the fake capsules contain only fillers, such as talc or starch, while others have been found to contain sibutramine.

The active ingredient of Xenical, orlistat, was not detected in three samples bought online from two different Web sites. The manufacturer of Xenical, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., tested one capsule and found it contained sibutramine, the active ingredient in the drug Meridia, manufactured by Abbott Laboratories. The two drugs have a similar purpose but different drug interaction profiles and dosing frequency.

"Other samples of drug product obtained from two of the Internet orders were composed of only talc and starch. According to Roche, these two samples displayed a valid Roche lot number…and were labeled with an expiration date of April 2007," the statement notes.

The Web sites operate via the pharmacycall365.com Web page, which lists 24 sites, of which four have been associated with the distribution of fake Tamiflu and Cialis. The FDA "strongly cautions consumers about purchasing drugs from any of these Web sites, which may be involved in the distribution of counterfeit drugs," according to the statement.

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