The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warning letters to 14 companies that are illegally selling products with false claims of preventing, diagnosing, treating or curing cancer.
Over 65 products have been identified spanning various product types, such as pills, topical creams, ointments, oils, drops, syrups, teas, and diagnostics (thermography devices). The products—intended for human or pet use—make illegal and unproven claims such as killing or inhibiting cancer cells or tumors, or reversing cancer, among others. The claims are related to a number of cancer types, including breast cancer, cervical cancer, and prostate cancer.
These claims violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to sell products that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate or cure diseases without first demonstrating to the Agency that they are safe and effective for their labeled indications. Over the past 10 years, more than 90 warning letters have been sent to companies marketing fraudulent products making cancer claims.
The list of illegally marketed cancer treatments can be found here. They were mostly marketed on websites and social media platforms; some companies were also marketing products at trade shows. Consumers are recommended to not use these products or similar unsafe products. Products that are sold with claims to treat cancer without any proof should not be purchased. Some of these products have been found to present a direct health risk to consumers, such as the case with the unapproved drug PNC-27, where the FDA discovered the bacteria Variovorax paradoxus in a tested sample.
The FDA is requiring responses from the 14 companies describing how the violations will be corrected. If they are not corrected, legal action such as product seizure, injunction and/or criminal prosecution may occur.
For more information visit FDA.gov.