This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
Claim: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Dr. Anthony Leachon, an internist-cardiologist at the Manila Doctors Hospital and former special adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, are endorsing Glufarelin, an unregistered product that can cure diabetes.
Why we fact-checked this: The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of a website and a Facebook page promoting Glufarelin use the NIH’s name, which could mislead the public into thinking the product is endorsed by the institution.
Some posts promoting Glufarelin from the said Facebook page have garnered a substantial number of interactions, such as four posts from February which already have had a total of about 2,700 reactions, 731 comments, and 159 shares as of writing.
Also, the said website and Facebook page used Leachon’s name and pictures in some of their marketing materials and even attributed to him some statements promoting Glufarelin. Examples from the Facebook page doing so include posts on March 22 and March 16 (and it used Leachon’s face and statements in its cover photo as well).
The bottom line: The NIH and Leachon have denied links to the said website and Facebook page, and have denied endorsing Glufarelin as well.
NIH’s response: Dr. Marie Carmela Lapitan, NIH Deputy Director for Research Operations, told Rappler through an email that they do not own the website nor the Facebook page endorsing Glufarelin.
“We would like to confirm that neither website nor the Facebook page contained in your email are from the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health nor do we endorse them. Furthermore, we do not support any of the claims contained in the said sites.”
The NIH, which is found in University of the Philippines-Manila, added that this is their official website: https://nih.upm.edu.ph/.
Dr. Leachon’s response: In an email response to Rappler on March 23, Leachon said he deems the actions of organizations promoting Glufarelin, such as those with the website and Facebook page using NIH’s name, as “unacceptable.” He said in his email: “They have been using my name and pictures without my permission.”
Status of Glufarelin with the FDA: Rappler had already published a fact check on July 13, 2022 about Glufarelin, the product promoted in the two websites that use the NIH’s name.
Moreover, FDA issued FDA Advisory No.2022-1260 on July 11, 2022, warning against the purchase and consumption of Glufarelin for being unregistered. It also urged the public to use the FDA Verification Portal to check if a food product or a drug product is registered with them. – Percival Bueser/ Rappler.com
Percival Bueser is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.
Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.