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HPRA advises of fatality linked to illegal slimming product

The Authority has again warned consumers of the potential serious health dangers of taking slimming products purchased online.

The HPRA and An Garda Síochána are liaising regarding their respective investigations into the supply of the DNP product and the events surrounding the death of this man.

A spokesperson for the HPRA said the parties continue to work together to monitor and investigate instances of supply of medicines through illegal retail sales in Ireland and via the Internet.

In April 2015, following coverage in the British press of the death of a young woman that was linked to DNP, the HPRA issued a national warning of the dangers of this substance.

The HPRA emphasises that products containing DNP are not fit for human consumption and have the potential to cause serious harm. It advises consumers not to purchase any slimming products which may be illegally available online. Some of these products have been found to contain unauthorised substances which are often undeclared on the pack.

To date, a small number of tablets containing DNP have been detained by the HPRA. However, as the internet is an unregulated source of supply of slimming products and other medicines, the Authority is concerned that products containing this substance may have been purchased by Irish consumers.

The HPRA is advising consumers if they have taken any product containing DNP and, if they are feeling any ill effects, to contact their doctor immediately. Any remaining quantity should not be taken and can be collected by the HPRA for disposal.

According to Mr Pat O’Mahony, Chief Executive of the HPRA, counterfeit and illegal medicines pose a serious health risk.

“Bogus websites can be very sophisticated and appear to be legitimate. However, in reality they can be supplying unsafe and harmful products. Laboratory analysis of products detained in the past has shown that medicines being sold through illicit websites will often contain too little or too much of the active ingredient or may contain undeclared and harmful substances.”

The HPRA welcomes any information that can assist its investigations and it can be contacted in confidence by e-mail on enforcement@hpra.ie or by phone at 01 634 3436.

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