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

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Why Are Supplement Ingredient Names So Confusing?

Have you ever heard of 1-(4-hydroxybenzyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline-6,7-diol or 4-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]phenol? Probably not. How about higenamine or hordenine? That may be more likely, but did you know that 1-(4-hydroxybenzyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline-6,7-diol and higenamine are actually the same ingredient? The same is true for 4-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]phenol and hordenine.  Ingredient names can be confusing because manufacturers don’t always follow guidelines set by the…

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New Supplement Website Certification Program Helps Sellers Reduce Advertising and E-commerce Disruptions

We’re pleased to announce today LegitScript’s newest certification program — one to certify the websites of dietary supplement sellers as a way for them to demonstrate credibility and regulatory compliance. Now, all US supplement manufacturers, resellers, and affiliates can apply through LegitScript to certify that their websites have been reviewed for problematic products, ingredients, and…

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The Rising Threat of Unwashed Poppy Seeds

As e-commerce platforms, payment service providers, and regulatory agencies crack down on illicit opioid sales on the internet, many consumers are turning to alternative products, either to replicate the effects of opioids or to aid in opioid withdrawal. Many of these products, however, are unregulated, illegal, and potentially dangerous. LegitScript analysts have recently identified a…

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What the Blackstone Labs Indictment Means for Payment Service Providers

Last month, six people associated with Blackstone Labs were charged in an indictment to market and sell illegal dietary supplements for use in bodybuilding and weight loss. The indictment is significant because of the size and reach of Blackstone Labs, and because of the way it is alleged to have deceptively labeled products for years.…

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How Will the FDA’s New Dietary Supplement Working Group Affect You?

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced last month a new working group to improve oversight of the dietary supplement industry. The move could mean increased safety for consumers, but also increased scrutiny of dietary supplement merchants and the payment facilitators that onboard them. An Unwieldy Industry In a speech at the Food and…

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Verify Healthcare Products, Ingredients, and Websites with LegitScript’s New Data Services

LegitScript is now making available the world’s largest, most comprehensive database of dietary supplements, designer drugs, pharmaceuticals, and other healthcare products and websites. This data — which is already trusted by Google, Bing, Amazon, and Facebook — can help supplement merchants, acquirers, and internet platforms confidently build their businesses while reducing risk and staying in…

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When is a Legal Dietary Supplement Illegal?

Most countries have regulatory authorities like the Food and Drug Administration that monitor and establish rules around food, drugs, dietary supplements, and more. These agencies have their own complex laws and regulatory standards, and they often vary substantially. What may be a legal, unregulated ingredient in one country is a prescription drug in another, and…

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Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Death Related to the Sale of Dangerous Chemical for Weight Loss

A UK man was sentenced last week to seven years in prison for the death of a woman to whom he sold the industrial chemical 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a compound abused by bodybuilders and other people for weight-loss purposes. Bernard Rebelo, now 31, was convicted of manslaughter after 21-year-old Eloise Parry, also from the UK, died…

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As Opiate Addiction Explodes, So Do Supplement Companies Looking to Cash In

In a public health crisis, some people see suffering while others see profits. The Food and Drug Administration frequently warns consumers about fraudulent or unapproved products that sprout up during disease outbreaks such as Zika, H1N1, or Ebola. But what about a different kind of outbreak — the opioid epidemic? More than 64,000 Americans died…

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Apricot Kernels: When Fruit Becomes an Illegal Supplement

Apricots are a popular summer fruit, but as a dietary supplement they can also be the pits. Acquiring banks, payment providers, advertising platforms, and others should be aware that the kernels found inside the pits of fresh apricots can contain something quite unexpected: cyanide. Some supplement merchants advertise these products as a health cure, which…

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