Dubai, UAE: Fond of buying diet pills or health products from untrustworthy sources online? You might want to rethink that as you might be compromising your health.
Health officials have warned residents against buying diet pills and other health products online as many of these products are fake and are not registered in the UAE or internationally.
Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Policy and Licensing at the Ministry of Health, said buying and selling through the internet without knowing the identity of both the buyers and sellers has become rampant in the UAE. This endangers the end users’ health as there is no assurance that the drugs they are buying are genuine since products sold online are not regulated.
Dr Al Amiri said the World Health Organisation reported that more than 90 per cent of the drugs traded through the internet are fake. The report also said that commercial fraud is not limited to treatment drugs or whitening and weight loss products only but also to coronary and heart, kidney failure and cancer drugs.
Dr Al Amiri said the substances used to make the drugs traded online are often not disclosed, putting their credibility and efficacy in question and the end users’ life even more at risk. And since these online companies sell outside the country, they are not under the country’s jurisdiction for legal prosecution.
The Ministry of Health recently monitored a website that promotes water diet capsules. The advertisement says: “We live outside your country but we can direct you to a specialised centre that is licensed by us when using our medical tablets or capsules. Due to our increasing number of customers, we can only follow up your case through our e-follow up system.”
Dr Al Amiri emphasised that being taken in by such misleading advertisements and buying medical or health products through the internet, blogs or social media networking have dangerous consequences.
Drugs and pharmaceutical products that are taken without any medical prescription or doctor’s advice may have negative side effects affecting several parts of the body like the kidneys, liver, the heart and arteries.
All substances that are promoted through the internet as ‘natural and herbal products’ prove that they consist of chemical substances that are internationally prohibited or not based on medical evidence.
Dr Al Amiri said that the Health Ministry is very keen on providing health care for its community members in the UAE through stipulating laws and legislations that would control the registration of medical substances and pharmaceutical products as well as supplements and medical devices.
© Gulf NewsOct 2014