LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Weight loss supplements have been on the rise in recent years with some gaining millions of dollars as companies raise their prices.
The rise has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to ban a popular weight loss supplement, as some companies seek to protect their markets and other weight loss companies seek a better return on their investments.
The FDA said on Monday it had banned a generic version of a supplement from the generic name Nexium because it was made in China and could lead to increased price volatility.
Lipitor, a product made by AstraZeneca Co Ltd, which has raised $4 billion, is the most common weight loss pill sold.
It is sold in the United States through a network of pharmacies.
It has been widely used by people in the developing world, but some weight loss experts are concerned about the potential for price increases as the market expands.
“The concern is that some weight-loss companies are going to be able to raise prices and they’ll be able make more money in that market,” said John Breslin, a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
“It’s not something that we think is a good idea for a large number of people.
They are going a little bit over the edge.”
Nexium is not the only weight loss drug making a comeback.
Lipitor was removed from the market in the summer of 2016 after a spate of price hikes and other regulatory challenges.
The Food and Drugs Administration has also banned weight loss products from the generics AstraZymed, Crest, and Ego.
The FDA said Nexium should be exempt from such bans, as it is not a prescription drug and is not subject to a generic drug approval process.