WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Consumers need to beware of illegally sold diabetes medications promising to treat, prevent, and even cure the disease.
As the number of people in the United States living with diabetes rises, so does the demand for medication. Many companies have started selling products for diabetes in violation of the federal law. Certain websites have been selling prescription drugs without requiring a valid prescription for purchase.
Companies have also been marketing these products with false claims such as "lower your blood sugar naturally", You'll lower your chances of having eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage and heart disease!" and "It can replace medicine in the treatment of diabetes."
In July 2013 the FDA issued letters of warning to 15 companies who have been selling diabetes as dietary supplements, alternative medicines, prescription drugs, and over-the-counter drugs. These companies have also been selling unapproved products for cancer treatment, sexually transmitted diseases, and macular degeneration.
An illegitimate online pharmacy is one that does not require a valid prescription from a patient, does not show a physical U.S. address, does not show proof of a valid pharmaceutical license, and does not have a licensed pharmacist to answer questions.
Products that promise an easy fix to diabetes may be tempting, but they can be hazardous to one's health. These products may contain harmful ingredients, be unsafe, or may be marketed as over-the-counter when they should not be. Those who have diabetes are at a greater risk for developing other serious complications. So, failure to follow doctor recommended treatment plans can lead to things such as amputations, kidney disease, blindness, and death.