Fact checks on health products and scams

FACT CHECK: Fake ad for ‘joint pain cure’ uses photos of influencer Doc Alvin


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FACT CHECK: Fake ad for ‘joint pain cure’ uses photos of influencer Doc Alvin
An advertisement for an unregistered health product mimics the CNN Philippines website and falsely claims the endorsement of medical content creator Dr. Alvin Francisco

Claim: Medical content creator Dr. Alvin Francisco, popularly known as Doc Alvin on social media, endorses Flexibility, a product that claims to cure joint problems.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was submitted to Rappler via email for a fact-check. The claim is based on an article supposedly published on the CNN Philippines website on November 30, featuring an alleged interview of Francisco by television host Boy Abunda. 

The article headline read: “Breaking News! Professor Alvin Francisco found a way to cure joint and back pain once and for all in two weeks!”

The facts: Francisco debunked the circulating post in an October 3 Facebook post, saying: “Babala: fake news ito. Wala nga akong lunas sa kirot na iniwan ng jowa, sa kirot ng arthritis pa kaya.” (Beware: this is fake news. I have no cure for the pain left by a partner, let alone the pain of arthritis.)

Fake website: The article is not published on the official website of CNN Philippines but on the domain healthnation-asia.com.

The supposed authors of the article are journalists of CNN International, not CNN Philippines. Radina Gigova is a multimedia reporter based in Atlanta, Georgia, while Amarachi Orie is a freelance journalist who writes for CNN International.

Unregistered with FDA: Flexibility is not registered in either the drug product or cosmetic product lists of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

To verify if a food, drug, or cosmetic product is registered with the FDA, visit the FDA Verification Portal.

Fact-checked: A similar claim featuring a different unregistered product that claims to cure hypertension was debunked by Rappler earlier in October. Both products share the same fake website, script, and photos of Francisco. 

Previous fact-checks: Rappler has debunked several health-related claims promoting the treatment and prevention of diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, often using the names or photos of celebrities and doctors:

– Ailla Dela Cruz/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. You may also report dubious claims to #FactsFirstPH tipline by messaging Rappler on Facebook or Newsbreak via Twitter direct message. You may also report through our Viber fact check chatbot. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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