A fake website made the false claim that an unregistered drug was supposedly formulated and endorsed by Dr. Tony Leachon.
CLAIM: A Filipino cardiologist Anthony “Tony” Leachon formulated a drug meant to cure joint and back pain.
A website imitating CNN Philippines falsely claimed that internist and cardiologist Dr. Anthony “Tony” Leachon had discovered a cure for joint and back pain.
A fabricated article on the site featured a supposed interview on “The Source” with CNN Philippines anchor Pinky Webb of Leachon supposedly narrating how he and his team of medical professionals had found a cure for arthritis, arthrosis, osteoarthritis, and osteochondrosis.
The bogus story contained a series of false claims. Let us look at them closely.
Fake drug formulation
First, Leachon did not formulate the supposed drug, JointLab, nor did he endorse it.
The doctor released a statement on June 6 clarifying that he was not affiliated with the website and that the information in the article was fake.
The Board of Medicine’s revised Code of Ethics of the Medical Profession states that physicians are not allowed to commercially endorse any medical or health product.
JointLab, the drug mentioned in the fabricated story, is not a cure for joint conditions and no single treatment works for everyone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and John Hopkins Medicine, doctors usually treat arthritis, arthrosis, osteoarthritis, and osteochondrosis with a combination of therapies and self-management strategies. Surgical intervention may be needed if other treatment options did not work.
Moreover, the supposed medicine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
A simple search on FDA’s verification portal using the keywords “jointlab” or “JointLab” did not yield any results.
CNN Philippines did not publish any story on its website nor air on television any interview that talked about Leachon’s alleged drug.
The photo used in the article was an altered screenshot taken from an episode of “The Source” back on June 11, 2019.
The interview between Leachon and the show’s host revolved around the issue of former President Rodrigo Duterte asking top officials of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to resign following the alleged “ghost” dialysis treatments on non-existent kidney patients in a dialysis center in Novaliches, Quezon City.
The site with the domain name “healthnation-asia.com” copied CNN Philippines’ layout and published the fake story. The official website of CNN Philippines is https://www.cnnphilippines.com/
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