In a December 6, 2011 advisory, entitled "HCG Diet Products are Illegal," The Food and Drug Administration had this to say about Human Chorionic Gonadtropin (HCG) products that supposedly help people lose weight:
HCG is a hormone that is produced by the human placenta during pregnancy.
Products that claim to contain HCG are typically marketed in connection with a very low calorie diet, usually one that limits calories to 500 per day. Many of these popular HCG products claim to “reset your metabolism,” change “abnormal eating patterns,” and shave 20-30 pounds in 30-40 days.
“These products are marketed with incredible claims and people think that if they're losing weight, HCG must be working,” says Elizabeth Miller, acting director of FDA’s Division of Non-Prescription Drugs and Health Fraud. “But the data simply does not support this; any loss is from severe calorie restriction. Not from the HCG.”
HCG is approved by FDA as a prescription drug for the treatment of female infertility, and other medical conditions. It is not approved for weight loss. In fact, the prescription drug label notes there “is no substantial evidence that it increases weight loss beyond that resulting from caloric restriction, that it causes a more attractive or ‘normal’ distribution of fat, or that it decreases the hunger and discomfort associated with calorie-restricted diets.”Despite the medical consensus that HCG does not help people lose weight, Women & Teens Medical Center is openly offering this pseudo-scientific weight loss treatment in the current (January 26) edition of the Miami New Times.
|The advertisement as it currently appears in the|
online edition of the Miami New Times
Women & Teens Medical Center is using deceptive advertising by selling HCG as a weight loss aid and claiming that it is "the most effective." This is just one of a long string of cases that show abortion centers putting profit over women's health.
HCG is approved only as an infertility treatment, not as a weight loss treatment. The FDA has indicated that it intends to start cracking down on this off-label, deceptive use of HCG. Secular Pro-Life urges you to complain directly to the FDA about Women & Teens Medical Center. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-723-3366. It's time to show Women & Teens Medical Center that they are not above the law!
|Women & Teens resumed its HCG diet|
advertisements after the FDA advisory
Update: Here is some more information from the FDA regarding off-label prescription use of HCG. (It is not clear whether Women & Teens is using "homeopathic" HCG, which is banned outright, or simply using prescription HCG in an unapproved manner.)
FDA is aware that healthcare professionals sometimes prescribe prescription injectable HCG for unapproved uses such as weight loss. FDA understands that sometimes approved products are used to treat conditions that the products were not approved for (i.e., “off-label” uses). The “off-label” use of products usually presents greater uncertainty about both the risks and benefits because less information is available on safety and effectiveness. Unexpected adverse events may occur in this context. FDA has received reports of serious adverse events associated with the use of HCG injections for weight loss including cases of pulmonary embolism, depression, cerebrovascular issues, cardiac arrest, and death.