Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Fake version of Alli diet drug leads to warning

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A counterfeit version of the over-the-counter weight-loss product Alli being marketed online could be harmful to dieters, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Monday.

The FDA said the counterfeit Alli was sold in 60 mg capsules as part of a 120 count refill kit.

The counterfeit version of Alli does not have the words "sealed for your protection" printed on the bottle's protective seal.

GlaxoSmithKline, which makes the approved version of Alli, said tests showed the falsely packaged and labeled products contained a controlled substance called sibutramine.

Sibutramine should not be used by certain patients or without physician oversight and can interact in a harmful way with other medications, the FDA said.

In a statement on its Web site, GSK (GSK) said the counterfeit product has been sold on online auction Web sites, such as eBay. But there is currently no evidence that the fake product has been sold through other channels, such as retail stores, GSK said.

Consumers began reporting suspected counterfeit Alli to the manufacturer in December, the FDA said.

The FDA and GSK said there are a number of ways for consumers to identify the false version of Alli, including the following:

-- The counterfeit version is missing the "LOT code" on the top of the outer cardboard packaging.

-- The counterfeit version has an expiration date that contains the month, day and year. The expiration date on the genuine version has only the month and year.

-- The seal on the bottle should read "SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION" in white ink on the bottle. This statement is not present on the fake product.

-- The capsule size is slightly larger in the counterfeit and the content inside of the capsule is different -- the counterfeit content is powdery and the genuine product is more of a pellet shape.

Consumers who suspect they have purchased counterfeit Alli are urged to contact the FDA at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/email/oc/oci/contact.cfm. To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,550.69 -47.51 -0.27%
Nasdaq 5,105.55 -9.84 -0.19%
S&P 500 2,093.32 -4.72 -0.22%
Treasuries 2.24 0.03 1.45%
Data as of 8:47am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 114.64 -3.80 -3.21%
Baxter International... 40.31 0.80 2.02%
Bank of America Corp... 17.80 0.03 0.17%
Baxalta Inc 37.10 3.95 11.92%
Frontier Communicati... 5.25 0.10 1.94%
Data as of Aug 4
Sponsors

Sections

The company's movie studios went up 13% thanks in large part to "Avengers: Age of Ultron." More

Security researchers have discovered how to use software to make any modern device -- printer, washing machine, air conditioner -- into a radio. More

Candle-Lite is committed to manufacturing in America -- which is a good thing because it contributes more than $300 million to Ohio's economy. More

You can't blame it on the economy anymore. More Millennials now have jobs, but are still living at home. More