Despite the fact that a number of these products have been under a recall for years, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has uncovered the disturbing fact that some dietary supplements are still being sold, even though they contain potentially dangerous prescription drugs.
Based on testing, several supplements that were purchased online by researchers contained hidden steroids, including some that are used in products such as Prozac and Viagra, as well as a prescription weight-loss drug that has been linked to a greater prevalence of heart attacks.
In all, study researchers purchased and tested 27 supplements, promising everything from weight loss to increased muscle tone and even better sexual stamina, and found that two-thirds of the products contained at least some ingredients that were banned from over-the-counter sale. Of those 18 products, 17 contained ingredients that resulted in their recall in the first place.
While the researchers noted that the manufacturers of these products consistently place profit ahead of the health of their customers, they also noted the lack of oversight by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a major problem, as well. Unfortunately, the law and budget cuts currently don’t allow for much oversight. Dietary supplements are not like prescription drugs, in that they are not subject to FDA approval before entering the market. However, manufacturers are prohibited from producing products for sale that are “adulterated or misbranded,” and all products must list every single ingredient on the label.
The authors of the study have suggested that the FDA’s enforcement powers should be strengthened, and that manufacturers who produce dietary supplements that could potentially harm users should face greater legal and financial consequences
In response to the study, the FDA released a statement saying that it has released a number of consumer alerts containing warnings about potentially dangerous products, and that they have sent warning letters to manufacturers of these supplements. They also claimed they “pursued civil and criminal enforcement” against those who marketed the products illegally.”
It’s obvious more has to be done to stop the manufacturers of dietary supplements from including ingredients that could put the user at risk. If you or a loved one has become ill or died, and you believe a dietary supplement may have been a factor, please contact the experienced Texas Consumer Product Defect Attorneys at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, to discuss your case and protect your rights.