FDA Issues Warning Letters to Companies Selling Ineffective Diabetes Drugs
In California, an estimated three million people—more than one out of every 10 adults in the state—has diabetes. As the number of diabetes patients has increased, some companies have come out with false promises of cures and treatments that are ineffective. The FDA recently took action and issued warnings against fifteen of those companies.
Diabetes Companies Selling False Promises
California has the highest number of newly diagnosed patients of anywhere in the country, and there has been a 38 percent increase in the number of diabetes patients in a single decade. Diabetes rates are rising not just in California but also throughout the United States as a whole. Prevalence of gestational diabetes has increased in California to 5.3 percent, predisposing children to developing diabetes. Increased ethnic diversity in the United States coupled with rising obesity rates are also possible explanations for why diabetes has become such a major public health problem throughout the country.
The added number of diabetes patients comes at great cost, as estimates indicate that $24.5 billion is spent in California each year to treat diabetes. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition although it can generally be managed with the use of insulin and with a proper diet.
Some patients looking for a cure, however, have fallen victim to dishonest advertising and to unsafe products that are sold by those who wish to take advantage of the rising number of diabetic individuals. An FDA report indicates that, “as the number of people diagnosed with diabetes continues to grow, illegally sold products promising to prevent, treat, and even cure diabetes are flooding the marketplace.”
These illegally sold products, unfortunately, are putting patients in grave danger. The FDA has warned that the products could be improperly marketed as over-the-counter drugs; that they may contain unsafe ingredients; and that patients may develop serious complications if they use these products instead of opting for traditionally accepted diabetes treatments.
To try to prevent companies from profiting off of selling these dangerous products to diabetes patients, the FDA issued warning letters to fifteen companies in July of 2013. The FDA targeted companies that promised their products would lower blood sugar or A1C levels; that their products would lower the chances of complications such as eye, kidney or heart disease; that promised to replace traditional medicines; or that promised to relieve diabetic foot pain.
Companies who received warning letters included Anastasia Marie Laboratories; bestcheapmedsonline.com; Glytain International Remedies, Inc.; Health King Enterprises & Balanceuticals Group Inc.; and Naturecast, among others. A full list of companies that were targeted can be found on the website of the Food and Drug Administration.
Among the products sold by these targeted companies were dietary supplements; ayurvedics; homeopathic products and over-the-counter medications. The FDA had obtained and tested the products and found that many contained undeclared ingredients and that many prescription medications were distributed without the medication guide that the FDA requires.
Unfortunately, patients who took these medications may have delayed necessary and effective treatment that could help them to better manage their diabetes. Patients taking these unsafe products were also put at risk of hypoglycemia and other complications. The consequences for patients could mean more costly medical bills and permanent damage to their health.
Individuals in California and throughout the United States who purchased these drugs and were misled by the false claims and suffered harm as a result could potentially take legal action against the companies that manufactured and distributed the medications. Injured patients could recover compensation for medical bills and costs, lost income, pain and suffering, emotional distress and other costs that directly result from the manufacturer’s sale of the dangerous products.
Additional articles on public safety issues are available to the public free of charge through our office.
If you would like to request one of these free resources, or to speak with a California injury lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596.