Illegal slimming drugs on the increase in Netherlands
Weight-loss medicines and dietary supplements sold in the Netherlands are found to contain illegal drugs that can lead to severe health problems, reports the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.THE NETHERLANDS – Illegal weight-loss medicines and dietary supplements being sold in the Netherlands are becoming increasingly dangerous, says the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.
In addition to the increasing number of fake medicines on the market, the survey conducted by the institute also discovered that natural dietary supplements were contaminated with drugs and banned herbal ingredients were being replaced by pharmaceutical drugs.
Herbal products containing ephedrine – banned in 2004 – were still available during the 2005-2007 survey period.
The substances concerned can lead to psychosis, cardiovascular problems, or even death.
Dietary supplements are found to pose the greatest risk as the label does not mention the drugs or ingredients used, according to the institute. Most consumers assume the product is natural and do not realise they are taking potentially dangerous pharmaceutical substances.
The report concludes that the demand for slimming drugs is being driven by "the growing discord between an overweight Western society, the contemporary ideal figure and the restrictive prescribing of weight-loss medicines".
Radio Netherlands / Expatica