USA Today's latest installment in its "Supplement Shell Game" series highlights the dangers of Reumofan, an illegal drug products masquerading as a dietary supplement. The article fails to differentiate between legal supplements and illegal products like Reumofan. The article also suggests that additional regulations (like product registration) may help prevent adulterated illegal products like Reumofan from reaching U.S. marketplace despite the fact that the practices alleged by the article are already illegal. AHPA sent a letter to the editor to stress the difference between legal supplements and products unlawfully marketed as dietary supplements and highlight that this is an enforcement issue not a case where more regulations are needed.
Sept. 25, 2013
Maker of dangerous pills is ‘ghost’ that can’t be found
GUADALAJARA, Mexico - A Mexican dietary supplement called Reumofan has gained a loyal following in the United States as a "100% natural" treatment for arthritis and joint pain. It's supposedly made by a company called Riger Natural from ingredients such as shark cartilage, white willow and glucosamine, or so the labels say.
But consumers who buy Reumofan products are risking dangerous side effects and trusting their lives to a company that uses fake addresses, lies about the ingredients in its products and may not even exist, a USA TODAY investigation has found.
The newspaper set out to find Riger Natural and the people responsible for producing and selling the supplement, searching corporation records and visiting addresses in Mexico where it had been listed on the Web as having a lab. Those addresses are fake and there's no evidence the company ever had facilities in the locations.