'Eliminate type II diabetes!': Feds fight illegal drugs, claims

Kevin Keen

'Eliminate type II diabetes!': Feds fight illegal drugs, claims

CREATED Jul. 23, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - They’re preying on the desperate and the vulnerable, the FDA argues. Now, the feds are cracking down on them, issuing a nationwide alert on diabetes remedies.
 
The product claims can be pretty bold. The FDA gives the examples: "Inexpensive therapy to fight and eliminate type II diabetes!" and "Replaces your diabetes medicine!"
 
The products themselves have official, medical-sounding names like ProBeta and DiabeRex.
 
And the people product makers are targeting are buying it.
 
“People are willing to take just about anything that's easy and pill form,” said Frances Catinella, a registered dietitian at St. Elizabeth Health Center.
 
“Some are in denial of diabetes,” said Mary Stevens, a nurse supervisor at St. Elizabeth’s. “They want to use supplements to help with that.”
 
Now, the Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on those phony and illegal diabetes remedies, arguing some ingredients are dangerous and their claims are false. Some remedies are pills; others are creams.
 
“They do a lot of false advertisement,” Stevens said. “They build people's hopes up.”
 
The agency's fired off "warning letters" to 15 companies, demanding one company stop selling an "unapproved and misbranded drug."
 
There's also a message for you and your loved ones: do not buy these illegally sold products. That the message is part a new FDA public service announcement called “Diabetes Products: Don't Fall for False Promises.”
 
Local doctors have seen too many patients fall for those “false promises.”
 
“People have a need to have kind of 'natural remedy' and a lot of these things are marketed as natural,” said Dr. Merri Pendergrass, director of the diabetes program at the University of Arizona.
 
“I always tell patients: we have a very natural cure for diabetes,” Pendergrass. “That is diet and exercise.”

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