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
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
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