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In the media

Diet pill death

21 April 2015: There were media reports of a 21-year-old woman who died after taking suspected diet pills which had been bought online. They were believed to contain DNP, an industrial chemical used as a pesticide and not for human consumption.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) spoke to media outlets across the UK about this story, including BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC News Channel, Good Morning Britain, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Wales, and S4C in Wales.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, RPS spokesperson Elen Jones said: “DNP is an industrial chemical, it’s sold illegally in some diet pills as a fat burning substance and can potentially be highly toxic and is not made for human consumption… It’s very difficult to regulate the internet and I think that’s why it’s so important to raise awareness with the public of the devastating consequences of actually ordering anything like this. And it’s not just diet pills — it could be any tablets that are ordered over the internet. You don’t know what’s in them, it could say one thing on the bottle but you don’t know actually what’s contained in them.

“The only way to get medication officially and through appropriate channels would be through a GP or pharmacy. And of course by visiting a pharmacist you can then also get healthy lifestyle advice and other supportive information to help you boost your weight loss through normal means.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068408

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