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Claim: Cardiologist and online health guru Dr. Willie Ong, popularly known as Doc Willie, endorses Glufarelin, a product claimed to cure diabetes.
Why we fact-checked this: The claim can be found in several Facebook posts promoting Glufarelin that use the name, picture, and video clips of Ong.
One such post was made on July 4 in the Facebook page “Glufarelin – put an end to diabetes,” with about 2,600 reactions, 1,000 comments, and 227 shares as of writing.
The post said Ong has an “effective therapy” for diabetes, and shares a portion of a video clip showing him tending to a patient and explaining some signs of diabetes.
Dr. Willie Ong’s response: Ong does not endorse Glufarelin. In an email to Rappler, Ong said of the numerous posts attributed to him: “All of these are fake ads made by scammers.”
Ong has repeatedly said that he does not endorse any product except for Birch Tree Advance, an adult nutritional supplement powder drink. He has also made several posts warning the public against deceptive advertisements through videos uploaded on his YouTube channel and Facebook page on April 18, April 19, and May 7, as well as on a “Notice to the Public” Facebook post on April 18.
In his email, Ong also said that authorities and social media platforms should address the proliferation of advertisements using the names and pictures of famous personalities.
“These fake ads have used all celebrities and influencers and [are] a worldwide problem. Facebook, [National Bureau of Investigation] should help the celebrities stop these scammers. We are victims here just like other influencers,” he added.
Previous related fact-checks: Rappler has written fact-checks about the use of deceptive means to promote Glufarelin many times before:
- FACT CHECK: Fake quote from diabetes expert used to promote Glufarelin (July 11, 2023)
- FACT CHECK: Glufarelin not endorsed by PGH, US doctor as diabetes cure (May 12, 2023)
- FACT CHECK: Neither PGH nor US expert endorses Glufarelin as diabetes cure (April 26, 2023)
- FACT CHECK: Quote cards about diabetes used to promote Glufarelin fabricated (April 6, 2023)
- FACT CHECK: NIH, Leachon do not endorse Glufarelin as diabetes cure (March 27, 2023)
As for Glufarelin itself, Rappler has previously debunked health claims about the product in a fact-check on July 13, 2022. (READ: FALSE: Glufarelin milk treats diabetes by completely controlling blood sugar levels)
– 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.
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