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FDA Cracks Down on Companies Selling 'Illegal' Diabetes Treatments

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration alerted 15 companies to stop offering what it calls illegal products marketed to treat diabetes.

While the FDA has not received any reports of illness associated with the products, it says it is "taking action to protect the public health."

The FDA claims these products "may cause harm because the products contain undeclared active drug ingredients or may not have been manufactured and handled according to FDA quality standards."

According to the FDA, these illegally sold products include: "products sold as 'natural' treatments for diabetes, but containing undeclared active pharmaceutical ingredients in unknown quantities that could cause harm or complicate  medical conditions; dietary supplements and ayurvedic products (medicine of the healing arts that originated in India) with claims to treat, cure, and/or prevent diabetes; unapproved drugs sold over-the-counter, including some homeopathic products, intended to treat complications associated with diabetes, which include relieving symptoms caused by nerve damage in the arms and legs (also called peripheral neuropathy); and prescription drugs for diabetes sold by online pharmacies without a prescription."

Many of the illegal products claim to "replace medicine in the treatment of diabetes," the FDA reports.

The FDA has requested a written response from these companies stating how they will correct the violations.

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