FDA sends demand letters to makers of illegal diabetes drugs

Patients in Tennessee who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are often told that they must take steps to control their sugar and insulin levels. They may be told about various ways to address the problem such as giving themselves insulin shots, utilizing an insulin pump, or taking prescription medication. While most consumers act in accordance with physician directives, other may be tempted to treat the disease with natural supplements or by purchasing drugs from online pharmacies. However, the products offered by many of these companies do not legitimately treat diabetes, and instead, patients can be unknowingly harmed by a dangerous product or uselessly ingest an ineffective formula.

The FDA recently sent 15 demand letters to American and foreign companies warning them they must not sell drugs or dietary supplements that claim they can treat diabetes in violation of federal drug law. Some of the companies allow consumers to purchase true prescription drugs such as Januvia but without a prescription as evidence that the medicine is being taken under a doctor’s supervision. Others market their products as natural supplements, but they actually contain prescription strength drugs that may have side effects. Some of the products make claims that they treat diabetes, but the ingredients listed are herbs such as cinnamon, which has not been proven effective against the disease.

When a dangerous drug causes injury to a consumer or results in worsened conditions, it is best to stop taking the drug immediately and consult with a physician. It may also be helpful to set up an appointment with legal counsel experienced in defective drug cases. An attorney can explore whether a consumer may be entitled to compensation due to a company’s negligence for improperly marketing or dispensing drugs. 

Source: NWI Times, “FDA cracks down on illegal diabetes remedies,” Matthew Perrone, July 26, 2013

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