report such claims?
diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions are
vulnerable to claims and sales promotions about easy cures.
Exaggerating the benefits, or understating the risks, of an
approved drug can cause harm.
Promoting unproven "cures" for cancer is harmful, even when
the intent by a layperson is to help. With ineffective
actions the disease can progress unchecked. The delay can
lead to a more acute stage of the disease that is more
challenging to treat. Unregulated products may have unsafe
contaminants. High doses of substances considered "safe"
can be toxic.
The FDA defines health fraud as "the promotion, for profit,
of a medical remedy known to be false or unproven."
It's easy to make a claim - anyone can make one up.
Because false claims can do harm (like shouting fire in a crowded
theatre) it's unethical and potentially criminal for a company to market its products based on unproven medical claims. To
do so the company must first run well-controlled clinical trials, then submit the results to the FDA
for independent review. Only if the product is proven by such study to
provide medical benefit can it then be marketed as a treatment
... for the specific medical condition it was tested to treat.
The alternative to an evidence-based system is chaos - medicine
by sales pitch, with no basis for making progress against the
serious diseases we suffer from. Thousands of competing
claims ... with no basis for knowing which to choose.
Unfortunately misleading and false medical claims are common - especially
on the Internet. The public can help to curb inappropriate
and unethical medical promotions by alerting the authorities as described