This week I gave a seminar to attorneys who are interested in weight loss. Specifically, in how those drugs make it to market, and how they’re marketed, advertised and labeled: you can look thru it on slideshare.net and weight loss drugs.
I dug through the literature to prepare. Nearly all the documentation that is prepared with prescription drugs–the package insert, the drug label–is actually for docs, not for consumers. It helps protect the company and inform the doc. At least, when it’s accurate, clear and complete.
But there is no package insert for dietary supplements (DS). Why?
Because there is no required reporting of drug-supplement interactions, or randomized controlled trials, or any trials. Except, as of 2006, “Serious Adverse Events” though “Serious” is largely determined by the manufacturer.
In June 2010 manufacturers and some others must comply with current GMPs which require evaluating the id, purity, strength and composition of what they manufacture. Unless they (easily) find a loophole.
A new academic article argues that dietary supplements should be considered as prescription drugs. Food for thought. Supplements can have drug-like effects.
As for DS weight loss ads…if Kevin Trudeau owes the FTC $37 million for violating a 2004 stipulated order by misrepresenting the content of his book, “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About”, it’s not just HCG marketers that should be on notice.