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Alternative medication warnings

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In general, be VERY skeptical of claims that herbal or alternative therapies can replace insulin treatment in cats or dogs. Please note that many of the charlatans and scammers discussed in this article had ads appearing on this wiki. See the phrases they use to try to hook you at Ad scams and Ad scams 2.


In dogs

Diabetic dogs, in particular, tend to be Type-1 diabetics and must have insulin: [3]

These links will take you to the pages where the "Treatment" is discussed.

Direct Quote from the BD website:
"NOTE: There is no diet or vitamin supplement that can reduce your dog's dependence on insulin injections. This is because vitamins and minerals cannot do what insulin does in the dog's body. If you believe that your dog needs a vitamin or mineral supplement, discuss it with your veterinarian first to make sure that the supplement does not interfere with the action of the dog's other medications. You will still need to give your dog insulin injections twice a day."
From BD's Ask Dr. Greco Page--FAQ About Canine Diabetes:
"Q: Are there alternatives to insulin injections?
A: Not yet, but researchers are working on new therapies.
Q: Are there any vitamin or mineral supplements that will reduce my dog's dependence on insulin?
A: No. Dogs generally have type 1 diabetes. Their pancreas produces no insulin at all, so they need insulin injections in order to survive. Vitamins and minerals cannot replace the action of insulin. If you give your dog vitamin supplements, you still need to give it insulin injections."

There is no medically recognized treatment for canine diabetes mellitus other than insulin injections. [4] Type-1 diabetes, which is the form it takes in the majority of dogs, is the same as Type-1 diabetes in humans. Type-1 diabetics of all species must replace the insulin their bodies no longer produce. [5] This can only be done with insulin shots. [6] Oral medications are designed to stimulate the pancreas into producing more insulin. This is successful with some Type-2 humans with diabetes because their pancreases produce some, but not enough insulin for their body's needs, or their bodies are unable to properly use the insulin they produce. [7][8]

Diabetics with Type-1 diabetes have beta cell dysfunction; this means they cannot produce insulin in response to any medicines because their pancreas is no longer able to do so. Regardless of what's said or promised, the only way Type-1 diabetics can produce their own insulin again is through pancreas or cell transplants, giving them new beta cells to do so with. While legitimate diet changes and supplemental medications can be of help in controlling diabetes, none of them can be the total answer in Type-1 diabetes.

The only recognized oral medications for control of diabetes are prescription drugs, approved in the US by FDA, in Canada by Health Canada, in the EU by EMEA, and by other legitimate medication regulatory bodies throughout the world. None of these medications have been recognized as being able to control Type-1 diabetes, but are for some cases of Type-2. The only recognized continuing medical treatment for diabetes mellitus Type-1 is one of the many forms of insulin therapy-for anyone suffering from it. The amount of money and resources of pharmaceutical companies would not be directed at finding alternate, non-injectable insulin delivery methods such as Exubera (inhaled insulin) if insulin was outmoded.

Think about it

Hucksters and charlatans like these have told their lies and made their claims long before modern treatment for pet diabetes. They did so to the human sufferers of diabetes, Type-1 and Type-2; those who believed them were fortunate if they escaped with at least part of their health intact--some were not so lucky.

The smoke and mirrors are still going on for persons with diabetes. These are large and active Google newsgroups for persons with diabetes:

Take a few minutes to read the threads and see for yourself how many scams are posted there. And be sure to read the many, many responses of the various members to these posters--that this is not true, these are scams, and the poster should get lost.

Lurk for a while if you doubt it. Then post and ask long-time newsgroup members how many scams they've seen on the newsgroup. I guarantee you will have plenty of responses.

The scam and sham artists don't care one bit about you, about your pet, or about anyone who has diabetes--they only care about your money and how they can relieve you of it. They are in the "pet diabetes business" only because it appears profitable, just as they were and continue to be in the "human diabetes business".

Your intelligence should tell you there's a reason why what they're selling isn't approved by any legitimate medical regulation agency in this world--because it doesn't work and may also harm you or your pet.

Major pharmaceutical companies who produce insulins and oral diabetes medications would be happy to acquire rights or licenses to these products and sell them--at the same price or more than their current products. Because if they really did what their promoters say they do, they would be considered what pharmaceutical firms call "blockbuster" drugs/treatments, which would mean huge profits to them. Even with the staggering costs of having a new drug FDA-approved, something genuine of this nature would be very profitable.

And because this is true--if the substance truly and safely met all claims, why is it being sold on hole-in-the-wall websites? Why not on websites like these examples:

If what the scamsters are pitching worked, they'd have enough money to have websites like Levemir, Apidra and Vetsulin.

Here are some examples:

"Money-back" guarantee--none regarding the possible health damage. The "satisfied customers" are apparently not satisfied enough that one can contact them for their first-hand accounts regarding the product. There is a reference to a "clinical test" and "scientific test" from an "independent lab" with absolutely no names mentioned or links to details of it. The company is based in Michigan, and a search of the Michigan State Professional Licensing Boardfor the person mentioned in the websites' "About Us" pages reveal he is a human chiropractor-not a veterinarian or human endocrinologist. The upper left hand portion of every page on one website says "Natural Medicine from Real Veterinarians", the other, "All Natural Pet Health Products".

The chiropractor was and may still possibly be the CEO of Techmedica [9]. The person who owns Techmedica pleaded guilty on July 2, 2009, to his role in the conspiracy to violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and to one count of wire fraud.

From the Justice Department link: [10]

"Techmedica fabricated fraudulent customer identities using photographs purchased from Istockphoto.com. Testimonials attributed to these fraudulent identities touted the effectiveness of the unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs. Techmedica also posted one of the Istockphoto.com photographs on their Web sites to fabricate a non-existent physician, Dr. Judy Hamilton, for the purpose of lending authenticity to and endorsing product claims about Diabeticine for customers with Type I and Type II diabetes. The person identified as Dr. Hamilton was in fact a model from California. This same model's photograph was also used by Pham on another Web site to fabricate a non-existent nurse, Bethany Hunt, RN, to tout the effectiveness of the unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs.

"Techmedica, through Pham, operated several Web sites using mirror image technology. When each of these Web sites was accessed from an FDA network computer, they displayed a “sanitized” version of the Web site containing medical claims that attempted to comply with the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. However, when each of these Web sites was accessed from a computer whose IP address could not be traced to the FDA, they displayed claims that the dietary supplements could cure, mitigate, treat, and prevent diseases, so that these supplements were sold as unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs."

Seeing the extent of the deceit this company was willing to perpetrate--going far enough to provide one website for the FDA and another for everyone else--should be ample proof these products don't work and they are being sold with only one thing in mind-the scamming company's profits.

What you can do to help

These are all "double pronged" scams where the pitches are made for both people and pets with diabetes. You can help to stop things like this for only a few moments of your time:

As you see, there's an online form and you do NOT need to provide your name or contact information unless you want a reply. Reports can also be made via plain e-mail, using webcomplaints@ora.fda.gov. Report anything like this you see, and keep reporting it until something is done about the website; the more reports received on a particular website, the faster something will be done about it.

Thomas Tusser [11] once said that a fool and his money are soon parted; it's bad enough when this happens to someone, but absolutely without conscience when they also lose health or life itself--theirs or that of a loved one. If you are reading this, you are smarter than the con artists!

Update

List of Firms Receiving Warning Letters for Marketing Unproven Dietary Supplements for Diabetes with Illegal Drug Claims-US-FDA

At least 3 of the companies mentioned here with one or more "Alternative Treatment(s)" are at the FDA link.

Springfield Business Owner Pleads Guilty-Sold Dietary Supplements Over the Internet With False Claims to Prevent, Cure Diseases-US Attorney's Office-Western District of Missouri, March 18, 2010

A co-defendant is the owner of Techmedica of Grand Rapid, MI, who was cited as far back as 1995 for these practices[12].

From the Justice Department link above:

"Pham pleaded guilty on July 2, 2009, to his role in the conspiracy to violate the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and to one count of wire fraud. Pham owned and operated Techmedica Health, Inc., located in Grand Rapids. Pham admitted that he used Techmedica to repackage, sell, market, and distribute unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs over the Internet. Web sites used by Techmedica contained materially false testimonials, product information, and identification of medical professionals.

"Techmedica fabricated fraudulent customer identities using photographs purchased from Istockphoto.com. Testimonials attributed to these fraudulent identities touted the effectiveness of the unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs. Techmedica also posted one of the Istockphoto.com photographs on their Web sites to fabricate a non-existent physician, Dr. Judy Hamilton, for the purpose of lending authenticity to and endorsing product claims about Diabeticine for customers with Type I and Type II diabetes. The person identified as Dr. Hamilton was in fact a model from California. This same model's photograph was also used by Pham on another Web site to fabricate a non-existent nurse, Bethany Hunt, RN, to tout the effectiveness of the unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs.

"Techmedica, through Pham, operated several Web sites using mirror image technology. When each of these Web sites was accessed from an FDA network computer, they displayed a “sanitized” version of the Web site containing medical claims that attempted to comply with the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. However, when each of these Web sites was accessed from a computer whose IP address could not be traced to the FDA, they displayed claims that the dietary supplements could cure, mitigate, treat, and prevent diseases, so that these supplements were sold as unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs."

The chiropractor, who at one time pretended to be a veterinarian, mentioned in connection with Alternative Treatments 1,2, 6 and 7, was and may still possibly be the CEO of Techmedica. [13]

References

  1. Nutriceutical, Alternative and Complementary Therapies. Ohio State University.
  2. 'Miracle' Health Claims: Add a Dose of Skepticism. US Federal Trade Commission.
  3. What Is Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes?. Intervet.
  4. Canine Diabetes-Treating Diabetes. WebMD.
  5. Type-1 Diabetes. American Diabetes Association.
  6. Type-1 Diabetes. American Diabetes Association.
  7. Type-2 Diabetes. American Diabetes Association.
  8. Type-2 Diabetes Treatments. American Diabetes Association.
  9. Publicly-traded Mannatech Sues Techmedica Health Over Glyconutrient Nutratose-CEO named and quoted. Techmedica (26 May 2006).
  10. Springfield Business Owner Pleads Guilty-Sold Dietary Supplements Over the Internet With False Claims to Prevent, Cure Diseases. -US Attorney's Office-Western District of Missouri (18 March 2010).
  11. Thomas Tusser-English Farmer & Writer-1524-1580. ThinkExist.com.
  12. FDA Warning Letter-Techmedica Health. US-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (16 August 2005).
  13. Techmedica Press Release-CEO named and quoted. Techmedica (26 May 2006).

More Information

  • US-FDA-Regulations on Statements Made for Dietary Supplements Concerning the Effect of the Product on the Structure or Function of the Body

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