Dietary Supplements

Tennessee-based IT manager Nancy White began digging deeper into EBay medication sales practices after receiving a dangerous pharmaceutical product in lieu of the skin cream she had ordered. According to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who spoke at the Partnership for Safe Medicine’s annual conference last week, there is a broad spectrum of illicit or dangerous products for sale at any given time on the Internet.

On September 11 ABC News reported that Tennessee resident Nancy White has started a crusade to get EBay to remove sellers who offer dangerous and banned supplements, treatments, and pharmaceuticals for sale on the site. Her efforts mirror the campaign reported by Bloomberg that Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is waging to get search giant Google to remove fake online pharmacy listings from their curated search results.

According to ABC, after White received her initial bad product from EBay, she began her own investigation of what dangerous pharmaceuticals were for sale on EBay. As she described her findings, “It was alarming, especially after I started investigating the scope of the problem,” White said.

White told ABC that she concentrates on reporting vendors who are in the United States, and that they tend to list under such headings as “Health and Beauty,” “skin care,” “over-the-counter medications” and “pet supplies.” There is no product listing for prescription drugs.

A quick check of EBay listings for weight loss treatments turned up several dietary supplements that the FDA has warned contain the dangerous banned weight loss drug, Sibutramine. For example, each of these banned weight loss supplements that have received FDA warning letters are currently for sale on EBay: Lipo 8, Trim Fast, Mezo, Asset Bold, and Asset Bee Pollen.

White holds out hope that her efforts will protect unwary consumers from the unscrupulous medication vendors on EBay. “I want everyone to see that selling these drugs can have consequences,” she said. “There is a person at the other end of each transaction who could be in danger from what they buy on this site.”

By S. Imber