Hyderabad: Tablets, capsules and oils which are being marketed on social media and websites to treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease are fraudulent and not scientifically proven, stated the Food and Drug Administration in a warning issued to the companies marketing these products. There are 58 products which have been identified and more than 40 warning letters have been issued to these companies, most of which are illegally selling the products through websites.
Dr Chandrashekar Naidu, senior neurologist at KIMS Hospital explained, “There is only symptomatic treatment for Alzheimer’s where according to the stage of the disease the medicine is given. It is a degenerative disorder. There are therapies like brain gym, sudoku and other brain exercises which are certified by neurological associations. Those which are not certified and are sold without any authentic validation must not be taken by people.”
Health fraud in terms of providing dietary supplements, tablets, capsules and oils is becoming a major threat as it is not clear what are the ingredients used and whether it is really going to help. The FDA, in its detailed warning, has pointed out that only those products which have undergone clinical trials and have been scientifically proved over a period of time can be relied upon. The claims of treatment are resulting into fatal health consequences where the use of steroids and other heavy metals are leading to failure of the kidney, liver cirrhosis and other complications in the body. Patients suffering from Alzheimer’s also have co-morbid conditions and hence, are on multiple drug regimes and the medications given to them cause interactions in the body, leading to various side-effects. To add to this, when there are dietary supplements and unscientifically approved medications added, it only adds to the insult to injury.
Dr Sanjay Reddy, nominated member of the Telangana State Pharmacy Council explained, “Unapproved products are entering the market in the form of dietary supplements and medicines where it does not come under the jurisdiction of either the drugs authority and neither is it a food. Due to lacunae, the issues of regulation are being seen.”
The FDA has stated that Alzheimer’s is a challenging disease but unfortunately till date there is no cure for the disease and any claims which talk about cure are nothing but ‘health frauds’.