Danes hit “dangerous” weight loss products

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Medicine

The DKMA is taking a closer look at the weight loss market
The DKMA is taking a closer look at the weight loss market
The Danish Medicines Agency (DKMA) has upped the ante in its campaign against illegal weight loss products containing banned substances such as ephedrine.

It said products could even contain “lime and cement” ​along with other illegal substances such as rimonabant and sibutramine.

The DKMA has been more active than most member state agencies in its campaign against non-authorised supplements and has set up a website to focus its campaign against the weight loss category in particular.

The Danish-language website - www.nix-pille.dk​ - meaning “don't touch”​, offers advice about dangerous products, contains videos about how they are made, information about approved weight-loss medicine and information about buying medicinal products via the internet.

“Dangerous weight-loss products could contain anything – lime and cement, excessively high doses of active substances or substances not even indicated on the packaging,” ​the DKMA said.

“This also means that the weight-loss products could be extremely harmful to health. At worst, they could be lethal.”

“The market for weight-loss products is extremely comprehensive, and new products are launched constantly. We therefore advise consumers to always seek the advice of their general practitioner or pharmacist if they are to use a weight-loss product.”

Endorsement

The chairman of the European Federation of Associations of Health Product Manufacturers (EHPM), Peter van Doorn, welcomed the initiative.

“EHPM supports actions of enforcement authorities that are aimed at removing products that are not safe or contain illegal substances,”​ he said.

“These products are not food supplements and should not be marketed to the detriment of consumer confidence in our sector. This concerns a very small number of products and manufacturers that undermine the credibility and the usefulness of the many high quality supplements our members companies manufacture.”

Sports supplements

In September last year the DKMA, in conjunction with the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA), began a campaign targeting fitness centres and bodybuilding clubs selling illegal sports supplement products.

It began the campaign after learning that, “food supplements, sports products and medicines”​ were being sold illegally.

The agency was not available comment on the progress of that campaign at the time of publication.

In July, the DVFA issued a consumer warning about food supplements containing black cohosh after becoming aware of several websites promoting the menopausal herb that is not approved for use in Denmark.

In that case it traced Danish language home pages with Danish web addresses to owners in France, the UK and the Netherlands and was working with agencies in those countries to investigate the matter further.

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