One of the fake 'Rhino' products listed by DoH Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Department of Health in Abu Dhabi (DoH) has detected 116 counterfeit pharmaceutical products since the beginning of 2024.

The banned list includes nutritional supplements, cosmetics, stimulants, and weight loss products. The Department said the list also features adulterated or contaminated nutritional supplement products, which are supposedly used for bodybuilding, sexual enhancement, weight loss, beautification, among other reasons.

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Over the past eight years, the list of counterfeits has grown to include 3,004 products. These products poses a danger when used by the public, and local and international health institutions have warned against their use.

Updated list

DoH website reported that updated list added 116 products from January 1 to June 1 includes:

• 14 cosmetic products

• 10 Weight loss products

• 40 stimulants

• 52 various other products

Unknown origins

DoH also published the names of the counterfeit drugs, pictures of their packaging, and the reason for the ban.

The list showed that the majority of products are of unknown origin, bearing names such as Royal Honey, Hero, Power, and Commander, containing unknown substances or posing a threat to public health.


For further inquiries, consumers can contact the Drug Information Service at the Department of Health through the hotline 800424 or through the email:

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Public warned

DoH called on members of the public not to buy or consume use any product on this list, and take advice from a healthcare professional before using any dietary supplement.

The Department stressed that the proven ways to lose weight are healthy eating and physical activity, noting that taking a nutritional supplement is not the ideal method, especially since many users do not have sufficient knowledge of the components of these products and the health risks and harm they can cause.

DoH also warned against the use of forbidden and counterfeit cosmetic products, as they could cause serious health problems, as cases of fraud in cosmetic products arise through changes in the contents of the cosmetic product, fraud in the information contained in the product label, or both.

Dangerous substances

Some of these substances can cause death if used without consulting a doctor, as the potentially dangerous ingredients in these products include:

• prasetron

• sildenafil

• tadalafil

• yohimbine

• clobetasol

• aminocaproic acid

• betamethasone

• paracetamol

• mercury

• sibutramine.

The bodies that identified the source of these dangers include the US Food and Drug Administration, Singapore Health Sciences, Hong Kong Department of Health, Malaysian National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency, Therapeutic Products Administration - Australia, as well as Health Canada.

Danger to public health

DoH stressed that the use of these products could lead to dangerous health effects, as they are manufactured and stored in inappropriate conditions and do not follow established manufacturing practices, which may lead to contamination of the product with harmful substances such as bacteria, fungi, and heavy metals. In addition, some of these products have been proven to be adulterated with pharmaceutical substances whose presence in the product was not declared in the packaging.