The Food and Drug Administration sure is busy these days. Currently, it’s out to stop U.S. Sales of almost 24 products claiming to be alternative diabetes treatments. The agency says these treatments are illegal and can be ineffective, counterfeit or even dangerous. Fifteen companies’ dietary supplements and purported natural cures are being targeted.
The agency sent warning letters to these companies, and if they don’t comply, they may seize their products and even prosecute those who don’t take corrective measures. These products stem from an alternative health system that evolved in India and include herbs and special diets. Many of the drugs also include unapproved versions of prescription medications, including metformin and Januvia. Diabetes sufferers can buy these treatments online or at retail stores.
Howard Sklamberg, director of compliance at the FDA’s center for drug evaluation and research said that if patients have diabetes, they should be treated by a doctor, not a so-called natural cure. He went on to say that the FDA was protecting consumers by its actions, and urged them not to buy these products.
The following are companies and products the FDA has singled out:
- Enhance Nutraceutical’s Diaberex
- Glytain Internal Remedies’ Glytain
- Health King Enterprise & Balanceuticals Group Inc.’s Sugar Balancer
- Magni Co.’s MagniLife Diabetic Neuropathy Foot Cream
- Nature’s Health Supply Diabetes Daily Care
- Naturecast Products’ Eradicator
Almost 26 million Americans suffer from diabetes, which can cause heart disease, blindness and kidney failure. If left uncontrolled, patients may also undergo lower-extremity amputations. Many of these products claim to both prevent and treat diabetes without any need for medical treatment. Some include ayurvedic medicines and prescription drugs for diabetes sold by online pharmacies without a prescription.
I in no way endorse or recommend these products. In fact, I applaud the FDA’s efforts. However, I do find it ironic that the agency relies on many prescription drug makers to do their research for them, while taking a hard line on alternative methods. For example, time after time, Big Pharma labels have either understated or completely ignored serious side effects of the drugs they peddle. But the FDA has taken a hard line stance on the lack of warnings on these alternative drugs’ labels. I’m all for that, and hope they will step up their efforts with prescription drug manufacturers as well.