WHO, Lilly issue warnings about fake slimming drugs

WHO, Lilly issue warnings about fake slimming drugs

WHO, Lilly issue warnings about fake slimming drugsWHO, Lilly issue warnings about fake slimming drugs

FRIDAY, JUNE 21, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Both the World Health Organization and Eli Lilly Co. warned on Thursday that consumers should avoid fake versions of weight loss drugs circulating in many countries.

The WHO warning said the international health agency had forwarded several reports of counterfeit semaglutide – the active ingredient in Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy and Ozempic – in all geographic regions of the world since 2022.

“WHO advises health professionals, regulators and the public to be aware of these falsified batches of medicines,” Dr Yukiko Nakatani, WHO’s deputy director-general for access to medicines and health products, said in the warning. “We request interested parties to stop any use of suspect drugs and report to the relevant authorities.”

Meanwhile, Lilly said in an open letter that it was “deeply concerned” about counterfeit or compounded versions of tirzepatide, the active ingredient in Lilly’s diet pills Mounjaro and Zepbound.

“These (fake) products are often advertised and sold online, through social media or at certain medical spas,” Lilly said in his letter. “It may contain no medicine, the wrong medicine, incorrect doses or several medicines mixed up, which could lead to serious harm. They are never safe to use.”

Novo Nordisk has issued similar warnings in the past about its drugs.

The WHO said patients can protect themselves by using prescriptions from licensed doctors to buy medicines. Consumers should also avoid buying the drugs from unknown sources, the agency added.

For its part, Lilly noted that any products marketed as tirzepatide and not Mounjaro or Zepbound were not manufactured by the drug manufacturer and are not approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration.

More information

The Association for Obesity Medicine has more on weight loss medications.

SOURCES: Eli Lilly, press release, June 2024; World Health Organization, press release, 20 June 2024

What does this mean for you?

The WHO and drugmaker Eli Lilly on Thursday warned consumers about fake versions of weight loss pills.

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