FDA, FTC Warn 10 Companies Illegally Selling Dietary Supplements Claiming to Treat Diabetes

Sep 17, 2021 11:46 AM ET

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the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission posted warning letters to 10 companies for illegally selling dietary supplements that claim to cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent diabetes, in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The FDA is urging consumers not to use these or similar products because they have not been evaluated by the FDA to be safe or effective for their intended use and may be harmful.


"More than 34 million Americans— just over 1 in 10 people— are living with diabetes. Dietary supplements that make fraudulent claims to treat diabetes are unapproved new drugs that could potentially harm consumers who use these products instead of seeking safe and effective FDA-approved treatments," said Cara Welch, Ph.D., Acting Director of the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs in the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "The FDA is committed to protecting U.S. consumers from products and companies that make unlawful claims to treat or prevent diabetes, and we'll continue to hold companies accountable by alerting the public about products that place consumers at risk."


Under the FD&C Act, products intended to diagnose, cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent disease are drugs and are subject to the requirements that apply to drugs, even if they are labeled as dietary supplements. Unlike drugs approved by the FDA, the agency has not evaluated whether the unapproved products subject to the warning letters announced today are effective for their intended use, what the proper dosage might be, how they could interact with FDA-approved drugs or other substances, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns. The FDA advises consumers to talk to their doctor, pharmacist or other health care provider before deciding to purchase or use any dietary supplement or drug. Also, if claims sound too good to be true, they probably are.


If a consumer thinks that a product might have caused a reaction or an illness, they should immediately stop using the product and contact their health care provider. The FDA also encourages health care providers and consumers to report adverse reactions associated with FDA-regulated products to the agency using MedWatch or the Safety Reporting Portal. The FDA has requested responses from the companies within 15 working days stating how they will address these issues or provide their reasoning and supporting information as to why they think the products are not in violation of the law. Failure to correct violations promptly may result in legal action, including product seizure and/or injunction.


Media Contact: Courtney Rhodes, 202-281-5237
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA


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