FDA head warns against miracle drugs, supplements

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If it is too good to be true, it probably is a scam.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday issued a warning against online offers that promise miracle health supplements and other medical cures.

“Be wary of these advertisements and marketing schemes of unscrupulous individuals whose main concern is profit,” FDA Acting Dir. Gen. Kenneth Hartigan-Go said.

Among these products are instant whitening and rapid weight loss pills.

Health and dietary supplements are intended only to support the body’s nutritional needs and are not meant to have therapeutic effects.

“These products are usually not approved by the FDA, ineffective, and in some cases may actually affect your health,” the FDA chief said.

Also, Hartigan-Go said health and dietary supplements are usually promoted by people “who have no medical qualifications but exploit hopes for improved health.”

“If such advertisements are too good to be true, suspect that it is a scam,” he said, adding there is no substitute for proper diet and regular exercise.

When buying medicines online, Hartigan-Go suggested that people make sure the seller has a valid FDA license to operate.

He said it is against FDA laws to sell medicines over the counter or prescription without such a license and without a licensed pharmacist.

The public was also warned against online pharmacies that do not have a physical address or toll-free phone number to contact.

“If you suspect you have bought a counterfeit drug or you are experiencing any adverse reaction after taking the drug bought online, report it. Kindly email the FDA at report@fda.gov.ph,” he said.

The public can check if an online pharmacy has a valid license by logging in at the FDA website at www.fda.gov.ph.

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