(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa on Tuesday ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to coordinate with the National Bureau of Investigation to probe the fake online advertisements using celebrities to endorse food and drug products.
Herbosa issued the order in reaction to Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s Senate resolution calling for an inquiry into the “alarming” proliferation of online posts using celebrities to promote unregistered food and health products.
The health chief said even his doctor friends were used in fake advertisements without their consent.
“I have seen this in social media; many of my friends, doctor friends who are popular and especially have been victimized for a drug that they did not endorse using their photos taken out of social media and these are really the scammers,” he told a Palace briefing.
“I will instruct the head of FDA, Sam Zacate, to actually coordinate with the NBI to really get to the bottom of this,” he added.
According to him, Dr. Willie Ong and Dr. Tony Leachon have filed cases with the NBI Cybercrime Division against those using their images in online advertisements for food and drug products.
“So I think maybe you can help me inform the public that there are such scams wherein they use a popular doctor for treatment of diabetes or treatment of hypertension that is not valid,” he said.
He reminded the public to make sure that the drugs they buy in the market or online are approved by the FDA.