Fact checks on health products and scams

FACT CHECK: Neither PGH nor US expert endorses Glufarelin as diabetes cure

Rappler.com

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FACT CHECK: Neither PGH nor US expert endorses Glufarelin as diabetes cure
The quote card attributed to an American nutrition researcher follows the same template as in previous bogus quote cards. PGH has also denied links to the Facebook page spreading the claim.

Claim: Dr. Neal Barnard, an American nutrition researcher, said the following in a quote card used to promote Glufarelin as a diabetes cure:

Makinig sa akin: ang mga tabletas at iniksyon ay hindi maaaring ganap na gamutin ang diabetes, ang aking mga kasamahan at ako ay nakahanap ng isang napaka-epektibong paraan.” (Listen to me: pills and injections cannot totally cure diabetes, my colleagues and I have found a very effective way.) 

The quote card bore the name and logo of ABS-CBN, referred to Barnard as a former Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) adviser, and mentioned that the statement was said in a “Diabetes Insights Conference” held in February 2023. 

Barnard is an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, DC. His verified Facebook page lists about 224,000 followers as of writing. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The quote card was found on an April 12 post on the Facebook page “Philippine General Hospital News.” The post had about 6,700 reactions, 749 comments, and 1,000 shares as of writing.

The Facebook post links to a website bearing the name and logo of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), with a tagline from the Manila Doctors Hospital. It features statements attributed to Barnard promoting Glufarelin, an unregistered product claimed to treat diabetes.

The bottom line: The quote card attributed to Barnard is dubious. The PGH has branded the Facebook page containing the fabricated quote card illegitimate and denies endorsing any product.

Recycled quote card:  The quote card with Barnard’s name and photo uses the same statement and template as in other fabricated quote cards promoting Glufarelin. On April 6, Rappler published fact checks of bogus quote cards attributed to health experts Dr. Tony Leachon, Dr. Eric Tayag, and Dr. Freddie Gomez.

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In a Facebook post about the quote cards on April 3, ABS-CBN said that the graphics were “manipulated.”

In an April 22 article, ABS-CBN News denied producing the quote card attributed to Barnard. They also reported PGH’s advisory on the issue.

PGH’s response: PGH issued a statement on its official Facebook page on April 20, debunking the legitimacy of the “Philippine General Hospital News” Facebook page.

Ang Philippine General Hospital News ay HINDI authorized o legitimate na Facebook page na galing sa UP-PGH.” (Philippine General Hospital News is NOT an authorized or legitimate Facebook page from UP-PGH).

PGH also warned the public against believing claims posted on the page, adding that the hospital does not endorse any product.

Unregistered: Glufarelin is not on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of registered food products and drug products

Previously, FDA had warned the public in its FDA Advisory No.2022-1260 against the purchase and consumption of Glufarelin as it was unregistered.

Previous fact-checks concerning Glufarelin: Rappler has previously published fact-check articles about Glufarelin and claims of it being a diabetes cure:

– 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 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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