FDA/State AIDS Health Fraud Task Forces
Evaluating Medical Therapies
The Task Forces are a network of AIDS Health Fraud Task Forces throughout the United
States of America has developed a proactive approach to combat these fraudulent
product/treatment promotions affecting people with HIV/AIDS and their partners, family,and
friends. The network, sponsored by the US Food & Drug Administration, strives to
promote awareness, and prevent fraud through education that empowers individuals. The Task
Forces have developed hotlines, workshops, conferences, and advocacy sharing as an alert
mechanism to new fraudulent product promotion. Media has been utilized to broaden
awareness in the diverse communities served. Members of the Task Force Network include
persons living with HIV/AIDS, community based organizations, treatment advocates, health
care practitioners, educators, federal and state government officials, and local health
care departments. (Rosario Quintanilla Vior and Betty Dodson 1998)
- Buying Medical Products Online, a new FDA
website to help you tell if a Website that sells medical products is legitimate, what you
should do before you buy medical products online. This site also contains a
link to where you can report problem websites.
Fraud Task Forces Web Pages
- AIDS Health Fraud Task Force of California was created to help expand the reach of
public education campaign on AIDS Health Fraud. --- http://www.aidsfraud.com
- Food Labeling: Health Claims and Label Statements for Dietary Supplements;
Strategy for Implementation of Pearson Court Decision. Pages 67289-67291 [FR
Doc. 99-31122 ] [TXT]
[PDF] [PRE-PUB] The Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) is informing the public of its strategy to implement a recent court
decision in Pearson v.Shalala (Pearson). The agency is taking this action to ensure that
interested persons are aware of the steps it plans to follow to carry out the decision.
FDA is also announcing how it plans to process petitions for dietary supplement health
claims during the interim implementation period.
- The Special Nutritionals Adverse Event
Monitoring System, Have you or someone you know hasd an adverse reaction after taking
a dietary supplement such as a vitamin or herbal product? You can report thee
problems to an on-line monitoring system managed by FDA's Center for Food Safety and
Applied Nutrition. The system, which collects voluntarily submitted adverse, also
tracks problems with "special nutritionals" such as infant formulas.
- Office of Dietary Supplements, National
Institutes of Health web site (http://odp.od.nih.gov/ods/). This Web site provides
information about the NIH, Office of Dietary Supplements, including its origins, programs
and activities, and scientific resources, and is organized to help you quickly and easily
find the information you seek.
- U. S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, January 15, 1999, Durk
Pearson and Sandy Shaw, American Preventive Medical Association and Citizens for Health,
Appellants v. Donna E. Shalala, Secretary, United States Department of Health and Human
Services, et al., Appellees, instructs FDA to define the
term "significant scientific agreement" for Health Claims on dietary supplement
labels and to allow the use of disclaimers on labels. The decision is located at http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/199901/98-5043a.txt
- WARNING - FDA is alerting consumers not to
purchase or consume products, some of which are labeled as dietary supplements, that
contain Gamma Butyrolactone (abbreviated as GBL).
FDA has also asked the companies that manufacture these products to voluntarily recall
them. FDA has received reports of serious health problems -- some
that are potentially life-threatening -- associated with the use of these
Additional Information, FDA Talk Paper
T99-5, January 21, 1999
- FTC Charges Second Internet
Marketer with Misrepresenting Accuracy of HIV Tests, December 1, 1999.
At the request of the Federal Trade Comission, a federal District Court in Orlando, FL,
has issued a temporary restraining order against David M. Rothbart, who does business as
Medimax, Inc., stopping him from engaging in the marketing and sale of HIV tests and
freezing his assets.
- FDA Issues Final Rule on OTC Drug Products
Containing Colloidal Silver, saying all over the counter drug products containing
colloidal silver or silver salts are not recognized as safe and effective and are
misbranded. Federal Register Announcement "Over-the-Counter Drug Products
Containing Colloidal Silver Ingredients or Silver Salts". Pages
44653-44658 [FR Doc. 99-21253] [Text Format] [PDF Format], August 17, 1999.
- Ozone Generator Sentencing - On March 29, 1999, Kenneth Thiefault and
his wife Mardol Barber were sentenced in a Florida court for their conviction last year on
conspiracy, distribution of an ozone generator, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax
violations. The court sentenced Mr. Thiefault to 72 months of incarceration (to be
followed by 3 years of supervised release), imposed a $100,000 fine, and ordered payment
of $14,400 in restitution. The court sentenced the Ms. Barber to 33 months of
incarceration (followed by 3 years of supervised release) and imposed a fine of
$60,000. Additionally, the court ordered both defendants to help the IRS compute
their back taxes and banned both defendants from participating in any securities or
telemarketing businesses in the future. The couple were making claims that the ozone
generators can oxidize toxins in the body and cure everything from gangrene to cancer to
- The MedWatch program is to enhance the effectiveness
of postmarketing surveillance of medical products as they are used in clinical practice
and to rapidly identify significant health hazards associated with these products.
Visit the MedWatch page and learn how to work with your health care professional to report
possible adverse reactions. The identify of the patient is kept confidential.
- MedWatch: FDA's 'Heads Up on Medical Product
Safety , FDA Consumer article discussing the MedWatch program to improve the
safety of drugs, biologics, medical devices, dietary supplements, medical foods, infant
formulas, and other regulated products by encourageing health care professionals to report
serious adverse events and product defects.(November-December 1998)
- The Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, and
the Secretaria de Salud of Mexico announced the adoption of an agreement on Joint
Strategies to Combat Health Fraud. The Joint Strategies Agreement provides a formal
framework for cooperation and signals an expansion of joint efforts against the fraudulent
marketing and sale of health related products, services and devices (December 10, 1998).
English Press Release
FTC y FDA Anuncian la Adopcion
de un Acuerdo Internacional para Combatir Fraudes
a la Salud
La FTC et la FDA Annoncent
L'Adoption d'Une Entente Internationale Pour Combattre
la Fraude en Matière de Santè
- Do you think you have been a victim of a consumer scam or other questionable business
activity? Do you think a company is misleading in its advertising? You can report these
concerns on-line to the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Response Center at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/fraud.htm
The FTC compiles complaint information to help law enforcement agencies through a
database it operates jointly with the National Association of Attorneys General.
- FDA Warns Consumers About Two Unapproved
Home-Use Test Kits, FDA is advising consumers and pharmacists about two unapproved,
fraudulently marketed home-use test kits distributed by Lei-Home Access Care.
September 26, 1997
Office of Special Health Issues
Office of International and Constituent Relations
Last Updated January 19, 2000