Diabetes Websites and Products: How To Assess if they are Trustworthy?
Do you ever notice the Google or Yahoo sponsored ads that run on some health Web sites? Some may be legitimate but unfortunately even some that run on Health Central’s site are bogus. It’s hard to completely prevent and the people at Health Central are working to block them.
Ads and Web sites that promise quick cures for diabetes or fast, easy ways to manage blood sugar really annoy me. No,they don’t just annoy me, they exasperate me. I’m appalled when they show up on the same page as my blogs. They pray on people’s vulnerabilities. They mock our wish that managing diabetes could be easier. They also diminish the efficacy of medical information on the internet. So as the staff at Health Central works to get them off this site, I’m outing some of these scam sites that seem to break through the Health Central security most frequently:
- Springfield Health Journal and its “diamoxal” product;
- Faithmed Inc’s diabalance.
- thediabetesbreakthrough.com that for $47 will sell you a PDF book to help you cleanse your pancreas
ALL ARE BOGUS! Amy Tenderich wrote an informative blog on DiabetesMine about an FDA approved bogus site called Glucobate – a site set up just to show consumers what to look out for. Check out Amy’s blog http://www.diabetesmine.com/2006/10/pssst_diabetes_.html and the Glucobate link.
Before you consider purchasing any treatment over the internet, make sure to check it against the FDA’s diabetes site http://www.fda.gov/diabetes/. I thought it would be useful to print some advice from the FDA about things to consider when seeking medical advice or “cures” on the internet- http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2006/606_fraud.html#diabetes. The following info comes from that site:
Health Fraud Red Flags
To avoid becoming a victim of health fraud, consumers should learn how to evaluate health-related claims. "I advise consumers to avoid web sites that offer quick and dramatic cures for serious diseases," says David Elder, director of the FDA's Office of enforcement. "Recognize the red flags and always consult a health professional before using any product or treatment."
Consumers should be wary of
- Statements that the product is a quick and effective cure-all or a diagnostic tool for a wide variety of ailments. "Beneficial in treating cancer, ulcer, prostate problems, heart trouble, and more …"
- Statements that suggest the product can treat or cure diseases. "Shrinks tumors, cures impotency …"
- Promotions that use words like "scientific breakthrough," "miraculous cure,""secret ingredient," and "ancient remedy."
- Text that uses impressive-sounding terms like these: "hunger stimulation point" and "thermogenesis" for a weight loss product.
- Undocumented case histories or personal testimonials by consumers or doctors claiming amazing results. "After eating a teaspoon of this product each day, my pain is completely gone …"
- Limited availability and advance payment requirements. "Hurry! This offer will not last."
- Promises of no-risk money-back guarantees. "If after 30 days you have not lost at least four pounds each week, your uncashed check will be returned to you."
- Promises of an "easy" fix.
Sources: The Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
For more on this topic see Dave Mendosa’s The Biggest Diabetes Scams 10/31/2006, Scams and Quacks 11/2005 and Bill Quick’s Diabetes Internet Plagiarisms and Splogs 1/4/2007, and now see Dave Mendosa’s May 13, 2007 - “C is for Cure”.