Be wary of possible side effects, drug interactions when using alternative health supplements, physicians caution
By By Bill Briggs
Fred Hutch News Service
One potentially fake cancer drug sold online can actually cause malignancies. One enema machine, purported to treat ovarian cancer under the FDA banner, was never cleared for sale in the U.S., federal health officials assert.
Those products and more were targeted last week in a global crackdown on more than 1,000 websites that sell possibly dangerous and bogus medicines and medical devices. The bust, conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Interpol, coincides with the surge of unproven cancer “cures” hawked by Internet sellers, the FDA warns.
For curious consumers, the FDA posts a running list of “fake cancer cures” that currently spans 187 oils, drinks, plants and animals parts sold by web merchants from North Carolina to Oregon.
“We’re quite clear: No over-the-counter herbal treatments – the things people get that are supposed to help their immune system, [or] whatever scams that people come across,” said Dr. George Georges, a hematopoietic cell transplant doctor at Fred Hutch. Continue reading