This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines – The head of a government-owned hospital in Davao Oriental and the chairman of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) in the Davao region have expressed alarm over the proliferation of herbal and food supplement products being passed off as cure-for-all and maintenance medicines.
They said that while herbal products and food supplements can provide benefits, advertising them as medications is misleading and potentially dangerous.
In recent years, the use of herbal products and food supplements has increased significantly in the Davao region and elsewhere in the country. With the growing demand for alternative medicine and the rise of health-conscious consumers, several groups have taken advantage of this trend by promoting their products as cure-for-all and maintenance medicines.
Anesthesiologist Rommel Oraiz, the officer-in-charge of the government-run Davao Oriental Provincial Medical Center in Mati City, cautioned that many of these products were being marketed without proper scientific evidence to support their claims, and as a result, consumers may rely on them to treat serious medical conditions, neglecting the need for professional medical care.
He said the promotion of herbal products and food supplements as cure-for-all medicines may also encourage self-diagnosis and self-treatment, which can be dangerous.
Oraiz said consumers may delay seeking proper medical attention, leading to the worsening of their condition or even death.
He said seriously ill patients who take herbal medicines instead of seeking professional medical care are putting themselves at risk.
“When their condition worsened after taking the ‘all-cure’ herbal products, they ended up being rushed to the hospital,” he said.
Doctors have warned that some herbal products and food supplements may interact negatively with prescription medications, leading to adverse effects and complications. Consumers may also experience side effects, such as allergies or digestive problems, from using these products without proper guidance from healthcare professionals.
Dr. Oraiz attributed the popularity of these products, many of which have not been approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), to radio stations that run their advertisements.
The lack of regulation enforcement in the herbal and food supplement industry has been a cause for concern. Dr. Oraiz said the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) has already called on the government to take the matter seriously and stop the proliferation of unlicensed herbal products and food supplements.
KBP-Davao chairman Raul Antopuesto said he was concerned because such advertisements raise a serious issue on media ethics and go against the “truth in advertising” advocacy.
Antopuesto attributed the popularity of these products to the constant advertisements aired throughout the day on almost all radio stations in the region.
Antopuesto said the KBP in Davao has initiated efforts to caution KBP-member radio stations in the region against accepting advertising placements from groups that package herbal products and food supplements like cure-for-all medicines.
“That is a big violation of our code of ethics in the KBP,” he said.
He estimated that about 90% of radio advertising revenues in the Davao region come from these herbal and food supplement products. – Rappler.com
Ferdinand Zuasola is an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow.