Today (April 25), the FDA sent warning letters to 14 US companies saying that the businesses are breaking the law by making unproven claims about their products.
The FDA is requesting those companies correct their violations and explain how they will prevent similar issues in the future. "We encourage people to remain vigilant whether online or in a store, and avoid purchasing products marketed to treat cancer without any proof they will work".
The agency is also advising patients and consumers to be wary of any unproven treatments, and to speak with their doctors about receiving proper treatment and care.
The illegally sold products addressed in the warning letters include pills, creams, ointments, oils, drops, syrups, teas and diagnostics (such as thermography devices).
The FDA is requiring responses from the 14 companies describing how the violations will be corrected. "We think FDA needs to send a strong message to companies like this and other companies that are selling these risky products that by doing this, FDA will act quickly and engage in real enforcement action-like criminal prosecution-to send that strong deterrent message".
The Food and Drug Administration says these products, mostly sold on websites and social media, can be harmful, waste money and result in people not getting approved, effective treatments.
The FDA states that these products could be unsafe to people and pets. FDA has recommended consumers, not to these products or similar products that are not safe. One of the company among the violators sold the product for cancer treatment in the form of a lotion, an herbal mixture that could fight against cancer, hepatitis and AIDS.
In a similar announcement from 2008, FDA warned more than 20 USA and foreign companies for selling fake cancer treatments. Companies that fail to come into compliance after receiving a warning letter can for example, face criminal prosecution and court-ordered decrees that require them to recall products and get written permission from FDA before resuming operations.
The letters covered more than five-dozen unapproved products that the companies touted as preventing, treating or curing cancer, a violation of federal law, the agency said. These products could affect human health directly or indirectly and could even prove fatal. "There can be a great temptation to jump at anything that appears to offer a chance for a cure".