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FACT CHECK: Fake quote from diabetes expert used to promote Glufarelin


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FACT CHECK: Fake quote from diabetes expert used to promote Glufarelin
This version of the recycled bogus quote card promoting Glufarelin as a diabetes cure is attributed to Filipino endocrinologist Dr. Augusto Litonjua

Claim: Filipino endocrinologist Dr. Augusto Litonjua, a diabetes expert, said the following statement in a quote card used to promote Glufarelin as a diabetes cure:

“Ang aking koponan at ako ay nakahanap ng bagong paraan upang maiwasan ang mga complications at makontrol ang diabetes hanggang ngayon.”

(My team and I have found a new way to prevent complications and control diabetes.)

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The quote card was posted on May 19 by the Facebook page “PGH News Daily.” The post has garnered 4,900 reactions and 486 shares as of writing.

The statement featured in the post is attributed to Litonjua, who was the founding president of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism (now the Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism) and described in an Inquirer article as the “Father of Philippine Endocrinology.”

The Facebook post also links to a dubious website promoting Glufarelin, a “high-tech diabetic milk” claimed to be the “most effective” cure for diabetes.

The bottom line: The quote card is a recycled version of similar fake posts used to promote the unregistered product Glufarelin, and the Facebook page that posted the claim is not affiliated with the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). 

Repeat offense: The quote card follows the same template as other fabricated posts used to promote Glufarelin, such as those featuring statements supposedly from health experts Dr. Tony Leachon, Dr. Eric Tayag, and Dr. Freddie Gomez. Rappler has repeatedly fact-checked these false claims:

Similar to the other posts, the quote card attributed to Litonjua uses the ABS-CBN logo. ABS-CBN previously said in a Facebook post that the quote card graphics were “manipulated.”

Fake page: The Facebook page “PGH News Daily” is not affiliated with the PGH. It was created just last May 4 and currently has 522 followers.

Previously, the hospital issued a statement on its official Facebook page warning the public against believing claims made on other pages that purport to be legitimate. 

Unregistered: Despite claiming to be “approved” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Glufarelin is not on the FDA list of registered food products and drug products

Public advisory: Currently, there is no single cure for diabetes. The Department of Health (DOH) has previously cautioned the public against believing marketing ploys for products purporting to treat diabetes. In response to a fabricated quote card featuring Dr. Eric Tayag, the DOH called on the public to “source information only from legitimate sources and platforms such as the health department.”

The health department advised the public to check the official DOH website and Facebook page for accurate medical information. – Jessica Bonifacio/Rappler.com

Jessica Bonifacio is an incoming third-year Environmental and Sanitary Engineering student currently volunteering under Rappler’s Research Unit.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com.

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