A man has been jailed for 12 months after being caught with more than half-a-million-pounds’-worth of fake health products, including potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals which claimed to help people suffering from hair loss.
This arrest is the latest in a spate of hair loss treatment crimes in the UK and America, as crooks prey on men’s self-consciousness about their hair, by supplying stolen or fake products.
Not intended for hair loss
The alleged Male Pattern Baldness pills involved in this incident were actually imported for prostate control, proving that buyers never fully know exactly what they are getting.
According to Wales Online, the man – Uganda-born Harish Gorania – imported a number of copycat pharmaceuticals into the UK to sell as bona fide medical treatments.
Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard how Gorania was caught in a sting operation after the UK Border Agency intercepted a package for him containing the pills. He has been charged on 15 counts including importing medical products without a licence and selling unauthorised products.
Pills like these, or products that come from a less-than-credible source are almost certain to be ineffective, but they could just as easily be damaging to your health.
Low cost appeal?
Why anyone would buy hair loss products from anywhere but a reputable source is a mystery, though a large part of the appeal is almost certainly the pills’ low-cost.
Treatments available from established hair loss clinics often differ wildly from those obtained from dubious vendors or websites. It is important for buyers to be confident about the provenance and validity of the products they plan to purchase as, realistically, they could have been made by anyone, anywhere, and in some cases without any medical knowledge whatsoever.
The dangers of this are certainly not lost on the MHRA whose Head Of Operations, Danny Lee-Frost, commenting after a clampdown on unlicensed drugs in 2009, said, “You just don’t know what you are taking.”
Belgravia’s superintendent pharmacist, Christina Chikaher, explains, “Whilst it can be hard to spot fake hair loss treatments, good signs to look for include basic, unprofessional looking packaging that may also be damaged. A lack of expiry date and no accompanying information leaflet detailing usage instructions and possible side effects, can also be giveaways“.
Buying hair loss products that are real but have been stolen, is also a risky business – and not just because you could be charged with receiving stolen goods.
In addition to these illegal products having to be stored properly – away from heat and light – to maintain their efficiency, it is incredibly important that anyone considering treatment be assessed by a hair loss specialist first, to establish their medical suitability. Some health conditions or family histories may mean certain treatments are unsuitable for individuals – information the average thief is unlikely to be able to provide, or care about!
Trusted hair loss treatments
By contrast, hair loss treatments offered by established clinics feature medically-proven components, such as high strength minoxidil which has been proven effective and safe following rigorous clinical trials involving multiple participants.
“There are lots of products available that are marketed for hair loss,” says Jonny Harris, The Belgravia Centre’s Managing Director, “but other than the two components licensed by the MHRA in the UK and the FDA in the USA – minoxidil and finasteride 1mg, there are no products that can demonstrate conclusive evidence of their effectiveness for hair loss prevention or treatment.”
“Hair loss products that work are carefully regulated and have a proven track-record,” Harris advises. “When coupled with the experience and support of professional hair loss specialists, clients are giving themselves the best possible chance of stabilising their hair loss and seeing regrowth.”
Buying questionable treatments over the internet or in the pub, on the other hand, is likely to be as random as rubbing something your find in the kitchen cupboard onto your head – but potentially a lot more dangerous.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.