Funding agencies: This was not an industry supported study. Bryan A. Liang (BAL) is a member of the Core Committee, Council on Foreign Relations Global Drug Safety Roundtable, and has received funding for one address and meeting of the Roundtable. BAL was a former member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Committee on Understanding the Global Public Health Implications of Counterfeit, Falsified, and Substandard Drugs, and received funding for travel and lodging for one meeting of this committee. Further, BAL is a member of the USA nonprofit National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) Research Program Committee and is a Project Liaison for that organization, which addresses key issues in drug safety. BAL is also a board member and Vice President of the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), a nonprofit membership, dues driven organization of nonprofit public, private, academic, and patient entities supporting drug supply safety. BAL and Tim K. Mackey (TKM) are reimbursed for travel to one PSM board meeting/annual conference each year. TKM is also the 2011–2012 Carl L. Alsberg, MD, Fellow of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, the latter of which is not connected with the submitted work. BAL, TKM, Ashley N. Archer-Hayes, and Linda M. Shinn have no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.
Illicit online marketing of lorcaserin before DEA scheduling†
Article first published online: 20 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 5, pages 861–864, May 2013
How to Cite
Liang, B. A., Mackey, T. K., N. Archer-Hayes, A. and Shinn, L. M. (2013), Illicit online marketing of lorcaserin before DEA scheduling. Obesity, 21: 861–864. doi: 10.1002/oby.20429
- Issue published online: 20 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 20 JUN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 20 MAR 2013 02:36AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 11 JAN 2013
- Core Committee, Council on Foreign Relations Global Drug Safety Roundtable
- National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, Committee on Understanding
- Global Public Health Implications of Counterfeit
- USA nonprofit National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF)
- Research Program Committee
- Project Liaison for that organization
- Vice President of the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM)
Antiobesity drugs have been marketed illicitly by “no prescription” online pharmacies after approval and scheduling by the drug enforcement agency. We assess whether antiobesity drug Belviq® (lorcaserin HCl) was available from illicit online vendors before DEA-scheduling when sales are unauthorized.
Design and Methods:
Online searches of “buy Belviq no prescription” examining first five result pages marketing the drug. Searches were performed from 11/5/2012-12/8/2012, prior to DEA scheduing.
Belviq® is actively marketed by “no prescription” online vendors despite official unavailability and prescription requirements. Approaches included direct-to-consumer advertising using descriptive website URLs; linking to illicit marketers; and directing customers to other weight-loss websites for additional marketing. Finally, large quantities were marketed by business-to-business vendors.
Illicit online “no prescription” pharmacies are marketing unauthorized, suspect antiobesity drugs before DEA scheduling and permitted marketing. Regulators must legally intercede to ensure patient safety, and providers must educate patients about online-sourcing risks.