FDA warns of bogus diabetes products


Illegal diabetes products are on the Food and Drug Administration’s radar.

The FDA is talking about products that claim they will prevent, treat and even cure that disease.  Government investigators say they’re “flooding the marketplace” and they’re warning patients not to use them.

The FDA says some of these products may contain harmful ingredients or may improperly be sold as over-the-counter products when they should be marketed as prescription items. Illegally marketed products carry an additional risk if they cause people to delay or discontinue effective treatment.

Illegal diabetes products can be very dangerous

“People with chronic or incurable diseases may feel desperate and become easy targets,” says Commander Jason Humbert of the U.S. Public Health Service.  “Bogus products for diabetes are particularly troubling because there are effective options available to help manage this serious disease rather than exposing patients to unproven and unreasonably risky products.  Failure to follow well-established treatment plans can lead to, among other things, amputations, kidney disease, blindness, and death.”

FDA laboratory analysis has found “all-natural” products for diabetes that contain undeclared active ingredients found in approved prescription drugs. Undeclared active ingredients can cause serious harm. If consumers and their health care professionals are unaware of the actual active ingredients in the products they are taking, these products may interact in dangerous ways with other medications.

Manufacturers are being warned

FDA has issued warning letters to various companies that market products for diabetes in violation of federal law. These products were marketed as dietary supplements; alternative medicines, such as ayurvedics; prescription drugs; over-the-counter drugs; and homeopathic products.

More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes, including about 7 million who are undiagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Millions more have pre-diabetes, meaning they have higher than normal blood sugar levels and can reduce their risks of developing diabetes through healthy lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise.


About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at Rx411. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years. This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns. He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C.