FDA: Avoid fake 'miracle' cancer treatments sold on internet

Ray Weaver
April 27, 2017

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking action against companies selling products that are not proven to diagnose, prevent or cure cancer.

What's especially unsafe about products that make wild, cancer-curing health claims is that they are often rooted in some amount of scientific evidence, making it hard for consumers to tell whether a product is legitimate or total bunk.

Stearn added, "We encourage people to remain vigilant whether online or in a store, and avoid purchasing products marketed to treat cancer without any proof they will work". Unfortunately, rogue operations exploiting those fears peddle untested and potentially risky products, particularly on the internet.

The agency is also advising patients and consumers to be wary of any unproven treatments, and to speak with their doctors about receiving proper treatment and care.

Under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, it is illegal to market and/or sell products claiming to fight, cure or prevent cancer without first going through rigorous testing and approval by the FDA. Sometimes, companies just move their products to other websites instead of addressing the warnings. "This product is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease".

Moreover, whether products claim to cure cancer or another disease, there are a number of catch phrases that can tip you off that they're bogus.

"Hoping to skirt the law on a technicality, some sellers made false claims and then in small print provided a disclaimer that their products are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease", two FDA officials wrote in a blog, commenting on the warning letters. If the companies don't comply, the FDA may take further legal action to prevent their products from reaching consumers.

Making such obvious claims and then saying later that you are not doing so might seem clever, but the technique does not comply with federal laws meant to protect public health.

The companies must respond to the FDA within 15 business days describing how they will correct the violations the FDA has cited. Some of the webpages referenced in FDA's warning letters had broken links when INSIDER attempted to access them Tuesday.

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