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The Latest on Internet Pharmacies, Supplements, Designer Drugs,
and Other High-Risk Merchants

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FTC pounds companies over false weight-loss claims in product advertising

As it kicked off the new year, the Federal Trade Commission made a resolution: no more bogus weight-loss claims! Operation Failed Resolution is the latest push in the FTC’s campaign against misleading advertising. As part of this effort, the FTC brought charges against four companies that promoted weight-loss products using deceptive and unfounded claims. The…

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Changes made to LegitScript’s Healthcare Product Bulk Search subscription plans

The API has landed. LegitScript has moved away from its prior subscription plans to an API model. The API will allow registered users to directly query data on healthcare products and receive LegitScript’s information relevant to those products. After signing up for an API key, you will be able to access our data in real time…

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Edible Earth and other problematic products added to LegitScript database

Potentially harmful products such as edible clay and erectile dysfunction treatments have recently been added to LegitScript’s database in an effort to inform and protect consumers. They are as follows: Clay Products The medicinal clay dietary supplements listed below pose risks because of high levels of lead and arsenic. These supplements, marketed as able to aid in…

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Family fights pesticide marketed as weight loss aid after young woman’s death

A toxic substance that is used as a weight loss aid despite being banned for human consumption claimed the life of a 23-year-old woman last year, and her family is now seeking to make the substance illegal. Her death was the 63rd linked to DNP, a highly toxic industrial chemical used in pesticides. In response…

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Dangerous supplements: LegitScript global program helps consumers, companies assess products

Supplements and other healthcare products that claim to help with weight loss, erectile dysfunction, bodybuilding or even cancer treatment are a big business. They are also a dangerous business. Products that have not been approved as safe and effective and that seem benign but contain hidden active pharmaceutical ingredients can be life-threatening, but not all…

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More slimming coffee and obesity tea added to LegitScript products database

Weight-loss supplements incorporating the words “coffee” and “tea” into their names continue to be marketed to consumers even though they might contain potentially harmful ingredients. Some haven’t been found to contain unapproved substances but merely imply that they cure obesity, which is an impermissible claim for a dietary supplement. We have recently added more of…

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Meizi Evolution Botanical Slimming joins list of products containing sibutramine

The Therapeutic Goods Administration, an Australian regulatory body, last week warned against the use of Meizi Evolution Botanical Slimming, a diet product that TGA tested and found to contain undeclared sibutramine. TGA recommends that anyone using Meizi Evolution stop taking the capsules immediately and return unused portions to a pharmacy for safe disposal. Despite being pulled…

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Brazilian Blowout needs additional regulation, lawmakers tell FDA

Three members of Congress have demanded more action from the Food and Drug Administration to regulate hair-straightening products such as Brazilian Blowout, which has been found to contain excessive amounts of formaldehyde. In a letter sent to the FDA on Tuesday, Reps. Earl Blumenauer, Edward Markey and Jan Schakowsky reiterated complaints lodged in early 2011 over…

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Bee pollen pills, ladybug bath salts have landed in LegitScript’s product database

Trendy “bee pollen” and “green coffee” weight loss supplements, some of which have been recalled in the US and elsewhere because of safety concerns, are just a few of the more than 200 products recently added to LegitScript’s searchable database. One of the bee pollen products — Classic Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen Capsules, marketed as a…

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Hallucinatory ‘ecstasy cigarettes’ and other troubling products marketed in China

Smoking kills? Maybe not in the way you think. LegitScript has recently discovered quite a few Chinese websites selling strange psychoactive products that are described as able to assist in committing crimes like rape and robbery. One such product, found on, is ecstasy cigarettes. The product description (translated from Chinese) reads: “After smoking these cigarettes, people…

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