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This article originally posted and appeared in  Safety and Error PreventionMedicationIssue 724

Emergency Recall of the OTC Weight-loss Drug Alli

Several reports of tampering have been made nationwide.... 

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Multiple reports of tampered Alli products have been reported throughout the United States, prompting an emergency recall of this OTC weight-loss drug.

Reports of tampered bottles containing different types of pills, in various shapes and colors, first began to pour in on Wednesday from consumers in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina and Texas. Many of these bottles were missing labels, packed in a sealed box, and had tamper-evident seals that did not appear genuine.

The manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, is currently working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in their investigation. The stage in the supply chain where the productions were tampered with still remains unknown.

Product tampering is a serious crime in America and finding the source of this is essential. According to a spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline, "The investigation is ongoing... We've asked people to return bottles to us, so we can examine them very closely ... we don't have any theories at this point."

The contents found within the tampered Alli products are currently unknown. As of now, at least 20 inquiries have been made. No reports of harm have been reported.

Practice Pearls:
  • Alli is an OTC weight-loss supplement currently approved for obesity in adults in conjunction with a healthy diet
  • Weight-loss supplements are popular throughout the U.S. and many patients may be using them
  • Anyone who has purchased Alli® and believes it has been tampered with should contact the FDA and manufacture immediately

Hirschler B, Goodman D. GSK recalls weight-loss drug Alli in U.S. on tampering concerns. 

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This article originally posted 10 April, 2014 and appeared in  Safety and Error PreventionMedicationIssue 724

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