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Is It Real, Or Is It Xenical?


By Nurse Mark

And does it matter? The stuff really doesn't work very well anyway...

"FDA Warns of Counterfeit Medicines from Internet Sellers" screams the lead article in the latest FDA "News Digest"... with dire warnings of counterfeit Xenical "weight-loss" pills...

And of course they are warning us - after all, they mustn't allow any competition to their masters, Big Pharma! The FDA has been bleating about the dangers of counterfeit and "offshore" medicines for years, and has been doing everything within it's power to prevent Americans from having access to medications from anyone who is not a part of the medical Mafia within the US.

Unfortunately, there is a kernel of truth in all their warnings, for as with any commodity where the legitimate product has become priced far higher than it's true worth, there will be counterfeits out there. We have counterfeit money - for money is something that has been assigned an arbitrary and inflated value far greater than the value of it's near-worthless paper and ink. We have counterfeit booze - cheap alcohol with a few drops of food coloring added, and then sold at "bargain" prices compared to the grossly overpriced real thing. We have counterfeit wristwatches, handbags, software, artworks...

Let's face it - if something is perceived as highly desirable, overpriced, hard to get, or in short supply, the counterfeiters will be right there to fill the void, and there will be no shortage of unsuspecting folks to be fleeced. It has been this way throughout mankind's history.

Yes, there are counterfeit drugs out there. Yes, there are some that are so bogus that they contain only starch and talc.  Fortunately those two ingredients, while worthless, are relatively harmless - unlike what might be found such as drain cleaner or some other chemical even more nasty than the real drug itself.

So, who is to blame for this? The FDA says that those who buy these counterfeits from offshore internet pharmacies have only themselves to blame, and to a certain degree they are right - but there is a bigger culprit in this.

The real blame for the blossoming of the counterfeiting trade must be laid at the feet of the FDA and Big Pharma themselves - for by driving their prices up to such obscene levels and by working so very hard to convince Americans that they simply cannot live without these wondrous miracle drug offerings they make this an irresistible market for those with larceny in their hearts. The FDA, Big Pharma, and the counterfeiting criminals all know that "there's a sucker born every minute", and that many Americans are willing to either pay the exorbitant prices for the genuine FDA-approved "real thing" or they are willing to take their chances on an opportunity to save a buck with some fly-by-night offshore pharmacy cranking out who-knows-what and calling it whatever is selling the best at the moment.

What's the answer? Perhaps breaking up the FDA / Big Pharma monopoly on prescription drugs in America and allowing consumers the option of purchasing more cost-effective drugs from other countries might force prices down and make counterfeiting less lucrative. Perhaps restricting the advertising of prescription drugs might make them less desirable. (Yes, I know that there is the not-so-little matter of "Freedom of Speech" - but that didn't stop our government from banning things like cigarette ads on TV - remember cigarette ads?) Perhaps allowing more discussion of herbal and nutritional alternatives to prescription drugs might allow people to consider something other than Big Pharma's toxic patent drug answers.

Whatever happens, patent drugs must be made far less profitable to counterfeiters, and to do that they must become less obscenely profitable to Big Pharma.

Will it happen? Not likely - see this article on the latest political machinations in Washington...

FDA Warns of Counterfeit Medicines from Internet Sellers
Following receipt of information showing that 24 Web sites may be involved in distributing counterfeit prescription drugs, FDA is warning consumers of the potential dangers of buying medicines online. The agency, for example, learned that three consumers obtained counterfeit versions of the weight-loss drug Xenical from two different Web sites. Some of these counterfeit drugs were composed of only starch and talc.
-- Press release:
-- Photos of counterfeit Xenical:
-- More information on buying medicines online:


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