The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently created an Internet resource to help consumers recognize and protect themselves against fraudulent health products. The FDA’s Health Fraud Scams website provides consumers with videos and articles educating them on how to avoid fraudulent schemes. The site also offers information regarding products that have been seized, recalled or are the subject of warnings from the agency.

Consumers can also find links to government resources on health fraud involving FDA-regulated products; this includes drugs, dietary supplements, tobacco products, alternative medicines, medical devices, and cosmetics.

Gary Coody, RPh, national health fraud coordinator at the FDA designates the site as a “one-stop shop” for consumers who seek to learn about and avoid health fraud scams. Coody warns against the different forms that these scams can take, “Some products billed as ‘all natural’ in fact have prescription drugs and other chemicals not listed on the label that could be dangerous,” Coody says. Tainted products like these include drugs to promote weight loss, sexual performance, and bodybuilding.

Other products the FDA warns against include cure-alls for chronic diseases like cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

For every new health threat, Goody emphasizes, phony products appear overnight and “Everyone is vulnerable.”

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Source: FDA