Beware of Fake Himalaya Products (Nefrotec, Liv. 52, and Immunol)

Pet owners in the Philippines, beware of unauthorized and fake Himalaya products, such as Nefrotec, Liv. 52, and Immunol. I used to buy them, too.

You can’t blame pet owners and rescuers like myself who want to save a little money when purchasing pet supplies. I have five rescue dogs and five rescue cats. At one point I had 17 animals. On top of the yearly vaccinations and monthly supplies, I spend on medication, especially now that my pets are seniors. I also donate to animal welfare groups, so you can imagine my expenses.

I purchased Nefrotec DS from my trusted vet (a two-hour drive from my home) a few years ago. It cost over ₱500 per bottle. I live in a faraway province where vet clinics with complete facilities are non-existent, so when the tablets ran out, I turned to Shopee and Lazada. When I saw several pet supply shops selling it for about half the price, my immediate reaction was, “Oh wow, the clinics really jack up the price. I better buy from these Shopee pet stores instead.” Today I regret that decision, but let’s continue with my backstory.

Like a diligent shopper, I checked the reviews. I started with my go-to Shopee pet supply store. They listed Nefrotec DS and Liv. 52 for half the price. The reviews were 95% 5-star ratings, with thousands of pet owners raving about how they saved so much money buying from Shopee instead of directly from the vet. I felt safe with the majority.

Same, But Different

When the bottle of Nefrotec arrived, I noticed the packaging looked different from the one I got from my vet. I brushed it off as new and updated packaging. This happens with pet food brands. After that, I would buy Nefrotec and Liv. 52 regularly from Shopee for almost three years.

Then one day this year I decided to look at the one-star ratings, just for the heck of it. One new review said, “This Nefrotec is fake! I showed it to my vet who said that it’s fake and different from the authorized version.” A photo of the “fake” vs. authentic one was attached.

My heart sank when I looked at the photos. My dogs have been using the purportedly “fake” one for three years, while the authentic version looked exactly like the one I stopped buying from my vet.

I browsed through dozens of online shops selling Himalaya Pet Wellness products—Nefrotec, Liv. 52, Immunol, and other common vet-prescribed supplements. Almost all the Shopee and Lazada shops sell the “fake” Nefrotec for ₱260-300 per bottle, while very few shops sell the authentic version for about ₱515. Not even Shopee Mall or LazMall, the supposedly authentic-guaranteed version of Shopee, is safe from fakes.

Poster about where to buy authentic Himalaya products on Shopee

Is It Really Fake? Will My Dogs Be Okay?

Scared for the life of my ailing dogs, I stopped giving them the alleged fake version. Thank goodness none of them got sicker, or worse, died. I went into reporter mode by interviewing vets from different clinics in Manila. They wish to remain anonymous, but let me share a summary of what I learned from them:

Reputable vets get only from the authorized distributor of Himalaya, and the price range of Nefrotec DS is more or less ₱515 per bottle, while Liv. 52 Forte is about ₱455 per bottle. Vets are aware that there are fake or unauthorized versions rampantly sold online because concerned pet owners showed them the cheaper bottles they got from Shopee.

Authorized versus unauthorized Nefrotec DS Himalaya in the Philippines
Unauthorized vs. authorized: On the left is the unauthorized parallel import of Nefrotec DS sold for ₱250-300 per bottle. On the right is the authorized, Philippine FDA-approved Nefrotec DS for the standard price of about ₱515 per bottle. I get my authentic Nefrotec from The Pawesome Pets and Pet Express, two of the few authorized Philippine resellers of Himalaya on Shopee.

After prescribing Himalaya supplements like Nefrotec, Liv. 52, and Immunol, vets will offer the authorized version they have on stock, but many pet parents choose to buy elsewhere, hoping for a discounted buy.

“So are they fake and will they kill my dogs?” I asked the vets. They could not categorically call everything fake, because the only way they’ll know for sure is if they test the questionable tablets in a lab and check each ingredient.

Authentic authorized Immunol tablets Himalaya Philippines
Real, authorized version of Immunol tablets, with a standard price of ₱379 per bottle of 60 tablets. Pinoys, one surefire way to see if your Himalaya product is authorized: Look at the bottom right of the green sticker label. If it includes the name and address of the official importer and distributor, Animal Health Marketing & Services, then you are safe!

I Tracked Down The Supplier

After more sleuthing, I found the only authorized supplier of Himalaya pet products in the Philippines, Animal Health Marketing & Services, Inc. on Facebook and sent them a private message. Their response time is quick, which is great for worried pet parents who need immediate answers. They told me the same things my vet told me, plus more insider info.

They are aware of unauthorized Himalaya products sold on Shopee, Lazada, and discount pet suppliers. They cannot outright call everything fake because there’s a mix of:
a.) illegal imports (a.k.a. counterfeits or outright fake goods) and
b.) parallel imports (non-counterfeit or genuine goods in different packaging from another country without the permission of the intellectual property owner, without paying taxes, and without FDA testing from the receiving country).

The only way they’ll know for sure is if they test the questionable products in a lab and verify each ingredient. The Philippine FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has tested and authorized only one version of Himalaya’s Nefrotec, Nefrotec DS, Liv. 52, Liv. 52 Forte, Immunol, and Canisep—the ones supplied by Animal Health Marketing & Services.

Why is it almost half the price on Shopee and Lazada? The unauthorized resellers get them from wholesalers in India and Nepal, where there’s a mix of illegal (fake) and parallel imports. The latter did not pay import taxes and do not have the FDA certificate.

“It has come to our notice that there are fake/counterfeit products circulating in the market,” The Himalaya Drug Company Pte Ltd. said in a press statement mailed to “Products marketed by our authorized distributor in the Philippines—Animal Health Marketing and Services Inc. are bonafide. We do not take any responsibility with regard to the efficacy and safety of the products that are similar in nature and marketed by other parties in the Philippines.”

Infographic courtesy of AHMS

The most counterfeited Himalaya item is Immunol Liquid, while the cheap Nefrotec and Liv. 52 versions you’ll find online are mostly parallel imports mixed with some illegal imports (a.k.a. fake or counterfeit).

Himalaya For Animals vs. Himalaya For Humans

Aside from Himalaya Pet Wellness, you may have heard of Himalaya Herbals and Himalaya Personal Care, products for humans under different distributors. Another issue with unauthorized resellers in the Philippines is that they’re passing off human medication for animals and vice-versa.

Counterfeit Liv. 52 Himalaya product in the Philippines
Screencapped from a counterfeit Shopee store. This is an example of a bad store. They sell Himalaya Liv. 52 DS, which is for humans. The reviews revealed that a lot of buyers get them for their dogs, thinking it’s the same as Liv. 52 or Liv. 52 Forte for animals. To the business owners selling fake and unauthorized Himalaya pet products in the Philippines, curse you! A plague on both your houses!

For example, I found a Shopee store selling Himalaya Liv. 52 DS, which is for humans. Animals can use only Liv. 52 or Liv. 52 Forte. The reviews revealed that a lot of buyers get them for their dogs, thinking it’s the same as Liv. 52. The store placed it under the category of “dog and cat essentials” when it should only be for humans. They didn’t bother to correct or educate the buyers who wrote, “I bought this for my dog!”

What Now, Doggos?

When you buy the cheap version, you are putting your dogs and cats at risk. You’ll never know if it’s the parallel import or outright counterfeit. Both are dangerous anyway. The parallel import may be authentic in other countries, but without the FDA certificate, you won’t know for sure if they were shipped to the Philippines under sanitized conditions and safe temperatures. You’ll never know if they were tampered with.

Counterfeit Immunol Liquid. Fake Himalaya items in the Philippines.

Counterfeit Immunol Liquid. Fake Himalaya items in the Philippines.

I don’t know about you, but my dogs and cats are the loves of my life, and knowing what I know now about Himalaya’s fight against counterfeits, I’d rather pay a few hundred pesos more just to make sure they’re getting the real deal. Their livers and kidneys are at stake.

To make sure you’re getting authentic Himalaya supplements for your pets, heed these tips:

1. Check the label and packaging. Visit AHMS’s Facebook page to see photos of authentic Himalaya products versus inauthentic ones.

Authentic Liv. 52. Authentic Himalaya products in the Philippines.
My stash of authentic Liv. 52 Forte tablets and Liv. 52 drops from The Pawesome Pets, one of the few authorized Philippine resellers of Himalaya on Shopee.

2. If it’s half the usual price, be very doubtful. The standard price of the real Nefrotec DS is ₱515+ per bottle, while Liv. 52 is ₱379+ per bottle and Liv. 52 Forte, ₱455+. Liv. 52 drops are ₱379 per bottle. Unauthorized versions are tagged at ₱250-300 per bottle. The authentic Immunol syrup is P549 per bottle, but the fake one goes from ₱200-300+.

3. Purchase only from reputable vets and authorized resellers. When in doubt, send Animal Health Marketing & Services a message on Facebook. They can verify your source and will refer you to authorized resellers near your area and online. My go-to authorized resellers are The Pawesome Pets and Pet Express.

4. Run everything through your vet. It’s okay if you don’t want to purchase all your supplies from the vet clinic, but make sure you show your vet what you bought from other stores, just to get their thumbs up.

5. Even if 98% of the reviews are 5 stars, you better peek at the 2% who gave it 1 star. That’s where I saw the “whistleblower” who said that it’s fake.

Pet parents, how do you think we can better spread the word about fake supplements and meds for pets?

Sending boops to your beloved dogs and cats!

Link to buy authentic Himalaya products in the Philippines

  1. I thought legit yung nabili ko kasi same ng tatak sa binebenta nung vet sa area namin. Thank you for this info will be buying sa shops na nirecommend mo. 🫶🏼

  2. Hello Kate,

    I’m sorry if i haven’t reached out to you on IG regarding LC-VIT.

    I don’t have IG account anymore due to personal reasons and I know you are waiting for the photos regarding about the label of it whether it was fake or not.

    I contacted AVLI Biocare, Inc via official page on facebook.I sent them message to make sure that they’re the official page.

    Luckily, they did respond and confirmed that they are the legit distributer.

    I asked them if the LC-VIT that i just bought was fake because the labels are different from the first bottle than the second one.

    They asked me to send them the photos to compared it.
    I send them the photo of those two bottles to be check.

    The response from them was the two bottles are both not counterfeit. it’s just that the first label was the old one and the second was the new one.

    They send me a video on how to determine if the LC-VIT that I purchased is counterfeit or not.

    I was relieved that the vitamins I bought was not fake.

    1. No worries, Rie! Thanks for helping me go on reporter mode. Good to know it’s just a change of packaging. Hope other pet parents read this.

  3. Sana nabasa ko ‘tong blog niyo po before ako bumili ng Immunol from isang Pet shop sa Cartimar😭. At first, sa Shopee ko talaga balak bumili nagtaka ako bat may mura and expensive tas magkaiba ang packaging pero dahil meron naman positive reviews ‘yung product na mura and iba ang packaging, so, ‘yun ang picture na sinaved ko sa phone ko as reference kapag bibili ako. Halos nasuyod ko na ang baclaran kakahanap ng nito and other syrup na bibilhin ko dahil walang tinda then sinabihan ako ng tindera from Fish Store na sa Cartimar daw available lahat. Nagbakasakali muna ako sa Vet Clinic na pinupuntahan ng Ate ko and hindi din available. Nagreco ang vet ng syrup na same lang daw sa Immunol ang effect pero pricey talaga kaya worth 700 kaya hindi ko binili. I went to Cartimar kasi need ko talaga. Sa first Pet shop na pinasukan ko, available ang Immunol liquid and tablet. 450 for liquid and 400 for tablet ang price. Hindi ko muna binili kasi baka available naman sa ibang shop and yung packaging ay different sa pic na sinaved ko. Then sa second shop na napuntahan ko, first bottle na pinakita nila sa’kin ay worth 500 or 550 (nakalimutan ko na po pero ito pala ang authentic 😭) and different packaging from reference. Then, may nakita silang bottle na same sa reference pic ko for only 350. Kinompare ko kung ano ba differences nung 2 bottle aside sa packaging kaso hindi ko naman mafigure out. Kaya I bought nalang ‘yung tig 350 kasi pasok sa budget ko dahil bumili pa ako other med. Now, I figure out bc of your blog na ‘yung first shop na napuntahan ko is selling authentic products pala kahit hindi ganun kamahalan. Kaya pala parang wala akong nakitang improvement sa condition ng cat ko kahit may iba pa akong binigay na immune boosters. Yes, the Vet advised me na ipacheck ang cat ko para mabigyan ng tamang prescription pero dahil unemployed ako, hindi ko afford and pinatos ko ‘yung murang Immunol. Sinunod ko nalang ‘yung post from fb group na makakahelp sa ubo’t sipon ng mga cats and dogs. Lalong nagworsen ang sipon ng pusa ko. Tama nga siguro na may mga condition na hindi lang sapat ang immune boosters and need talaga ng antibiotic. Hindi na nakarecover ang cat ko and passed away ‘nung May 3. Thank you for sharing this in your blog po. Lesson na din po sa’kin ito na magaresearch po muna ng maigi before bumili.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your beloved cat. 🙁 I wrote this blog post to help other pet parents in the Philippines. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Hi Kate,

    I’m glad that I have read this post. I bought Immunol before for my dog due to distemper. I bought it for the price of Php 199.00.

    I used it once and never used it again because my dog died.

    Currently, I have three dogs.
    one is a senior dog and two are puppies. Right now, i’m giving them LC-Vit which is from Nutratech Biopharma. Inc and distributed by AVLI Bio Care, Inc.

    Can you also do a review on that vitamins too? because right now, I just spot a big difference on the packaging.

    The first one doesn’t contain any warnings that has the FDA’s approval and warnings.

    plus the address of those two labels are different and the expiration date was way too different.

    I don’t know if they just change their labels or make an improvement of it.

    I just want to know how to spot the counterfeit and real one. I hope that you can do a review soon.

    Thank You.

    1. Hi, Rie. I’m so sorry to hear about your dog. 🙁 Yes, I use LC-VIT also. I purchase LC-VIT from the same shops that sell authentic Nefrotec, just to be on the safe side. But thanks for that suggestion. Just give me time to research and contact the official suppliers. There are fake Bearing shampoos now as well! And fake Pimobendan tablets (for the heart) on Shopee.

      Can you please send me a photo of your questionable LC-VIT box and bottle? Please send me the photos on IG @replikate. Thank you!

  5. HI Miss Kate is there a new packaging of Liv. 52 which is pet Liquid, I honestly tried it to my dog since I suspected it has a distemper and as of the moments I don’t have any work to sustain the sickness of my pet due to financial problem and yes that is being irresponsible as a owner of a dog but there is a lot of really bad day happened and I just watch how to bring up my dog immune system but suddenly open giving the fake Immunol I think it just worsened my dogs condition after checking the right bottle to your post honestly I am really upset for what happened with out checking your page right now..thank you

    1. Hi, Nel. Thanks for reaching out. May I see a photo of the fake Liv. 52 liquid? Please send it to my IG @replikate. Hope your dog is feeling better.

  6. Glad I found your blog. Added to cart a few bottles but was hesitant due to the difference in packaging (aside from the price) of what I have bought from the vet versus the ones I found online so I tried to do a bit research before checking out. Sad that some would also find ways to produce fake products for pets. Thank you, Kate. This saved my furbaby.

  7. Hello Kate, I’m glad to find websites like this one, because I have the same problem, because I bought Nefeotec in MercadoLibre Colombia and I bought 1 year ago this same product in another legal shop, and when this last nefrotec arrived to me, I saw this so different, my question for you is? Do you contact to Himalaya wellness Company because they have the same profile for these products and when did you bought them, I mean the date. Thanks I hope you can help me

    1. Do you live in Colombia? Here in the Philippines, I contacted Animal Health Marketing & Services, the official distributor of Himalaya here in our country. You may check the packaging of your original Nefrotec tablets. Usually, the name of your local distributor is labeled there.

  8. Glad I came across your article before I started administering the cheap Immunol bottle I ordered from Shopee! I’ve yet to actually receive it but most signs point to it likely being counterfeit or at least parallel imported. Can’t say I blame most pet owners though. I checked the Himalaya Wellness sight in India (where most of these sellers seem to get their supply from) and their products sell for relatively ridiculously cheap prices over there, even when compared to “Shopee prices”.

  9. I just bought Nefrotic DS from one of shopee store, I have doubts already after I received the package and just got a confirmation after reading your blog. I reserved 1 tab of nefrotic DS for comparison to my shopee order(the one I bought from the vet it cost me ₱420 for 14 tablets only & I felt that I was jack up, which turned out true😅! Dang 1 bottle with 60 tabs only cost 500+??) but anyway, I just received my order from shopee, and guess what based on your blog, my order is fake. The bottle is different, the tablet itself too,the yellow coat is lesser that from my vet tabs. And also theres a note that it is for sale in india and nepal only. That’s where I got my doubts on the product, and like you I also thought that maybe they change the packaging, I set aside my doubts. I already given my cat 1 tabs today. I guess I have to throw it and order the legit Nefrotic DS from authorized seller.

      1. Hi, Lylian. Back then my dog was in the early stages of kidney disease, so it was difficult to make an empirical observation. My vet said the only way you’ll see the accurate difference is to send the questionable tablets to a lab to check the ingredients.

  10. Hello. Thank you for sharing this! I recently bought Immunol from a Shopee pet store that sells about ₱230. About 5 days, I fed my dog and kept wondering why it doesn’t feel like its working at all. I had a hunch that it was a fake product then, I came across to your blog and I was right. Gladly to see your blog before I feed him more of it. I also appreciate that you shared your go-to pet store.

    Thank you again! ^ _ ^

    1. You’re welcome! There are so many fake pet products on Shopee and Lazada! I’m going to blog about the other brands that are being faked, such as Bearing and Pimobendan.

      1. I’m glad I read this post. I got my immunol from shopee. I fed it to my cat one time then checked again some reviews. I’m going to the vet and get it checked. Also from now on I’m going to buy from vet. Much safer.

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