NHS England has reportedly urged leading social media giant, Instagram, to put an end to accounts selling a dangerous and unlicensed drug mostly targeted at younger women as well as girls.
The sale of the drug Apetamin is illegal across the UK, but BBC Three discovered that it is still available online and in shops.
In an open letter, the leaders of NHS stated that they are worried about the promotion of this product and its impact on mental and physical health.
On its part, the social media giant stated that selling of non-medical drugs is strongly against its policies.
The country’s regulator has not performed any tests to ensure that the drug meets stringent safety standards, this means that it is not licensed to be used, sold, advertised or supplied in the UK.
According to doctors, misuse or consumption of the appetite stimulant might cause acute fatigue, jaundice, and could also lead to liver failure.
Despite this, Apetamin is regularly being promoted by influencers as a fast method to gain weight as well as develop an hourglass figure, just like celebrities Cardi B and Kim Kardashian.
In the letter, Clare Murdoch, National Mental Health Director, and Stephen Powis, National Medical Director, have demand a quick update from Instagram on what action the platform is taking to manage accounts selling the drug.
Clare Murdoch stated that it is high time these social media giants took some action and become more responsible with the power of their platform.
The BBC has discovered that the drug is still being sold in shops and other online sites, after its investigation.
The social media giant stated that the firm is working with youth organizations and law enforcement to help keep sale of any drugs off of Instagram.
The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) is presently investigating the sale of the drug, which is made by Indian Pharmaceutical firm TIL Healthcare.
As per a TIL Healthcare spokesperson, the firm is not exporting the product to the UK and it has no information related to its availability in the UK.
Source credit: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-56930654