11 July 2024

Former actress-turned entrepreneur Pornchita Na Songkhla claimed the weight loss product, branded “Itcha”, which was purchased online by the Thai Food and Drug Administration (Thai FDA), tested by the Medical Sciences Department (MSD) and found to contain sibutramine appetite suppressant, was not her company’s product and was fake.

The Thai FDA said it purchased “Itcha” product online via the “Itcha XS by Benz Pornchita” Facebook page, with manufacturing and expiry dates of 10/01/2024 and 09/01/2026 respectively, and had it sent to the MSD for testing to determine its safety.

After finding that the product contained sibutramine, an appetite suppressant which is associated with increased cardiovascular disease and stroke and has been withdrawn from the market in many countries, the Thai FDA issued a warning to members of the public to exercise caution when considering buying the product.

In her Facebook live post today, Pornchita said that a package of the authentic “Itcha” product must bear her signature and there are desiccants included in the package. Also, the tablet is white, unlike fake tablets which are brownish.

She claimed that the “Itcha” product bought by the Thai FDA and tested by the MSD was fake. She also offered an assurance that the company is not complacent and has issued a statement advising customers to buy the product directly from them.

Today, Atchariya Ruangrattanapong, a self-appointed crusader on behalf of victims of crime, presented the “Itcha” product test report from the MSD to the Technology Crime Suppression Division, to be used as evidence in any legal action against the product’s manufacturer.

He claimed that he bought the weight loss product directly from the company about four months ago and had it sent to the MSD for testing, which revealed that it contained sibutramine.

He said that Pornchita and her husband, who are both well-known figures, acted as presenters or brand ambassadors for the product.

Atchariya went on to say that he will file a complaint with the Revenue Department on Monday, seeking an investigation into the company’s finances and tax compliance.

Thai FDA Secretary-General Dr. Narong Aphikulvanich said they will see whether a new product sample should be collected for a second test.