Unfortunately, too many people are getting scammed into purchasing on-line weight loss products, especially the so-called “skinny pen”.
Most people that I know are trying to lose weight, most have been on a diet of one form or another in the past year. The weight loss industry is worth billions of pounds.
The GLP-1 (Glucagon Like Peptide 1) agonists are now a well-known class of medicines when it comes to weight loss, even if you have never heard them being described as such. They are drugs such as liraglutide (also known as Saxenda) and semaglutide (also known as Ozempic and Wegovy).
PHOTO 1 – IS IT REAL OR FAKE?
They work by reducing your feeling of hunger and slowing down stomach emptying; hence you feel fuller for longer periods and eat less food.
The drugs were initially licensed for Type 2 diabetes, but they have also found a big place in the management of weight.
PHOTO 2 – IS IT REAL OR FAKE?
So why all the problem with fakes? One of the reasons is that the drugs have been very successful, and this has led to an international shortage. And unscrupulous operators are all too happy to fill the gap.
The drugs are prescription only medicines (POMs), so one must get a clinician, eg a doctor, a prescribing nurse, a prescribing pharmacist (like me) or other prescriber, to consult with the patient and then supply a prescription and then the medication. Fraudsters bypass all these steps and generally sell direct to the public.
So why is this a problem? It saves having to get a prescription and all the red-tape doesn’t it? Yes, it does. But these medicines are classed as POMs for a reason by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). They are classed as such because they can have serious side effects if not prescribed to suitable patients after a medical consultation. Also, they are only obtainable from a UK regulated pharmacy because the MHRA knows that this is a trusted source of supply. Pharmacies only buy stock from a regulated medical wholesaler. The cold-chain (these products must be kept in a “medical” fridge before being given to a patient) is maintained all the way to supplying the patient.
ALL FAKE PRODUCTS THAT ARE BEING SOLD ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
The problems with non-offical sources, eg. Anonymous accounts on facebook and instagram. They are not pharmacies. There is no way of knowing that the medication is what it says it is. It could just be water, even worse, it could be insulin which can basically kill you. It could also be some other liquid which could cause an allergic reaction or other problems which could send you to hospital.
What can you do to ensure that you get your medication from an official source. I have included some links below:
Is it a real pharmacy?
Are they real pharmacists?
Are they a real Doctor?
Are they real nurses?
If you still suspect that the product is fake, report it to the MHRA