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Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices News & Commentary on Prescription Drug & Medical Device Lawsuits

Death, injury, and fraud–all risks of using off-brand supplements

Posted in Misc. Drugs

Two articles popped up in my inbox today.  The first tells the sad story of a man who died after taking a supplement known as “Stiff Nights.”

“A Kansas City man died last year after taking an unapproved erectile dysfunction drug allegedly labeled as a dietary supplement, a Jackson County lawsuit says.
 

David R. McElwee, 39, suffered a loss of blood pressure, which ultimately led to a fatal heart attack, after taking a product sold under the brand name Stiff Nights, according to the lawsuit filed in August on behalf of his children.

Source: Lawsuit blames man’s death on erectile dysfunction supplement – KansasCity.com

The second is an exposé on the supplement market in today’s issue of USA Today:

Far from an isolated case, a USA TODAY investigation finds that a wide array of dietary supplement companies caught with drug-spiked products are run by people with criminal backgrounds and regulatory run-ins. Consumers buying products from these firms are in some cases entrusting their health and safety to people with rap sheets for crimes involving barbiturates, crack cocaine, Ecstacy and other narcotics, as well as arrests for selling or possessing steroids and human growth hormone. Other supplement company executives have records of fraud, theft, assault, weapons offenses, money laundering or other offenses, the investigation shows.

Source: Makers of tainted supplements have criminal pasts

Both articles show that you should be comfortable with the company that makes any pill you take.