SOURCE: MedShape Weight Loss Clinic

January 31, 2011 13:52 ET

MedShape Applauds FDA Action Against Illegal Homeopathic HCG Weight Loss Products

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - January 31, 2011) - MedShape Weight Loss Clinic, a national leader in safe and effective weight loss, announced today its strong endorsement of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statement released on Jan. 24, 2011 calling for the immediate cease of the marketing and sale of "Homeopathic HCG" formulations.

"This clear, decisive act should reduce confusion and fraud for consumers searching for rapid weight loss," said Stephanie Smith, CEO of MedShape. Homeopathic HCG products, according to the FDA statement, contain none of the prescription substance "HCG" (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone known to cause rapid weight loss by suppressing a person's appetite. "Real" HCG is only available in the U.S. with a prescription from a doctor, such as MedShape's physicians who prescribe HCG as part of a supervised weight loss program.

In addition to weight loss, the prescription-strength form of HCG is a valuable medical tool that is prescribed for such conditions as infertility, hormonal imbalances and autoimmune diseases. These legitimate, medical uses of the hormone are not affected by the FDA's statement.

Full Strength vs. Dilute HCG

Although the term "homeopathy" is often used by marketers and the lay public as a synonym for Alternative or Holistic Medicine, it is not. Introduced by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in the late 1700s, homeopathy is a distinct philosophical school of medical theory that suggests that if a particular medicine causes a certain set of symptoms (such as a rash on the back of the hands & feet) in a healthy individual, then the same substance administered to an ill individual with the same symptoms (rash on hands & feet) should effectively treat the condition.

While this principle of "like cures like" remains controversial, the much more controversial aspect of homeopathy is that of "dilution." Homeopathic practitioners, beginning with Hahnemann, reportedly found that significantly diluted doses of medication resulted in superior therapeutic effects with reduced incidence of side effects. Some homeopathy practitioners have taken this idea to the scientifically unfounded conclusion that benefits persist even in formulations so dilute that no molecules of the original pharmaceutical agent can be found.

In the case of HCG, this concept of dilution was exploited by unscrupulous manufacturers and sellers of weight loss products who sold very dilute formulations of HCG. According to the FDA's statement, these businesses made illegal and fraudulent claims that these "dilute" products produce the effects typically associated with the full-strength, prescription version of HCG, despite no clinical evidence in support of these claims. As a result of these fraudulent marketing campaigns, thousands of consumers looking for fast weight loss have wasted money on the purchase of products that have no demonstrated pharmaceutical effect.

The Importance of a Doctor's Supervision

While fraud is a serious problem, it is not the biggest concern associated with illegal HCG products. Even though FDA officials have stated that "dilute" HCG products are not likely to cause health problems, potentially serious health conditions may result from the use of dietary advice promoted by the vendors of these products.

Vendors of the "dilute" HCG products have aggressively marketed their products for use in conjunction with a 500-calorie-per-day diet (known as the "Simeons Protocol"), which has been implicated in serious medical conditions and even death. While nearly all of the serious cases occurred in individuals who had significant pre-existing medical conditions, this underscores the importance of working with specialized healthcare professionals who have been trained to assist individuals develop balanced, sustainable, safe, and effective nutrition and lifestyle plans.

About MedShape Weight Loss Clinic

MedShape Weight Loss Clinic, a national leader in safe and effective weight loss, offers a variety of programs, proprietary formulas, products and support specially designed to facilitate rapid and sustained success. MedShape's physicians prescribe only pharmaceutical-grade, full-strength HCG to their patients as part of a balanced, safe and effective weight loss program.

Contact Information

  • Contact Information
    MedShape Weight Loss Clinic
    Stephanie Smith
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