IMB issues safety alert on Melanotan
27 February 2009
‘Tan jab’ may pose risk to health warns Irish Medicines Board
The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) today issued a precautionary safety alert in relation to the unauthorised medicine Melanotan (I and II) which is illegal on the Irish market. This product is not available in pharmacies or authorised channels in Ireland and it is thought that it is being sourced by consumers on the internet. There is no evidence that it is safe or effective. The IMB is additionally concerned that this product carries the risk of infection, following tests which found the presence of microbial contamination in the product. This microbial contamination would expose recipients to a risk of serious infection. The IMB is advising any consumers who are currently using this product to cease doing so immediately and consult with their pharmacist or doctor. This product is not authorised in any country in Europe.
Melanotan is an unlicensed medicine marketed through the internet as a drug that purports to assist tanning. It also claims to have the added effects of appetite suppression and increased libido. There is no indication at this time that this product is available in retail outlets in Ireland.
Commenting, Pat O’Mahony, Chief Executive, IMB, said that the IMB would be concerned that consumers are purchasing medicines via unregulated outlets such as the internet as the safety of these products cannot be guaranteed.
“Melanotan is not authorised in Ireland and therefore the IMB cannot guarantee the efficacy, safety or quality of this product. The IMB strongly advises consumers not to purchase any medicinal product on the internet. The IMB recommends that consumers with health concerns should seek the advice of their pharmacist or GP.”
The supply of prescription only medicinal products through the internet is a breach of medicinal product legislation pursuant to the Irish Medicines Board Act 1995-2006 and its associated Regulations. The Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) Regulations, 2003, as amended, prohibits the mail order of a prescription only medicinal product. Supply through the Internet is considered to be a mail order supply. The IMB continually monitors and investigates instances of illegal supply of prescription only medicinal products via the Internet in the interest of protecting public health.
Siobhan Molloy / Angie Grant Tel: (01) 676 0168
Weber Shandwick Mob: 086 817 5066 / 086 377 2791