Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmx DOT com

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Sunday, 11 May 2014

MHRA criticised Vedanate (aka Vedagrin) for misleading claim about Type 2 diabetes

I missed Vedanate / Vedagrin's moment in the spotlight last year when the MHRA (the UK's Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) put out a press release warning people with Type 2 diabetes to avoid the product, and asked the manufacturers to stop selling it.

From what I can gather the product is still on sale (and it seems it can be bought in the UK) as part of the PayDot affiliate marketing scheme, which is part of the larger TwistForum network.

The company's website (1), which I shan't (hyper)link to is http://www.vedanate.com/ and the PayDot info site (3) for affiliate marketers is at http://www.paydot.com/affiliates/directory/health-beauty/nutritional-supplements/vedanate-1095

1. Vedanate website
The picture of the doctor used on the Vedanate website is suspiciously similar to one used on this unrelated Tech website, so I'd have to assume the use of (perfectly legal) stock photos, though it's a shame that the implication is made that the quote next to the man might have been made by him. It's easy to use tools like Google Images to do a reverse-image search on any picture and find this sort of thing out. It's not a big deal but it amused me.
 
Tech-Hunt website
Vedanate website



The website provides a list of ingredients but no information about any evidence that a combination of these is safe or effective in managing blood glucose levels. I was not able to find any evidence of human trials mentioned on their website, not even in their FAQ.




 

More troubling is that the product is advertised on the website as a 'medicine' - and even if it wasn't advertised in that way I think it would be considered as such by the MHRA, which has recently closed its period of grace for herbal medicines:

"...as of 1st May 2014, unlicensed manufactured herbal medicines without a traditional herbal registration (THR) or product licence (PL) can no longer be sold to consumers and must be removed from shelves" - End of herbal sell through period (30 April 2014) MHRA press release


I don't know if Vedanate has the correct license for sale in the UK....

2. MHRA's 2013 announcement about Vedanate
Vedanate appears to be an unlicensed herbal remedy:
"The advertisement for Vedagrin (also known as Vedanate) promotes the unlicensed medicine as an alternative to prescribed diabetes medication with the words “say goodbye to your diabetes medication forever”. This breaks advertising regulations for medicines and the MHRA has instructed the company to stop selling the product."
 - according to the manufacturers the words in italics have since been removed, I don't know if this means that the MHRA has lifted its requirement for them to stop selling it.

Reference: MHRA issues warning to people with diabetes about dangerous herbal food supplement claims (3 July 2013) MHRA Press release

3. PayDot network's website for Vedanate affiliate marketers
Affiliate marketers create websites to highlight the benefits of a particular product and encourage people to buy it. There's a link on their site that refers visitors to the Vedanate website from which they can buy it, and in doing so the affiliate marketer receives a cut of the sales (15% for Vedanate). Presumably the more affiliate websites there are for a product, the greater the chance of someone coming across that product, in this case Vedanate.

PayDot liaises between the makers of Vedanate and the affiliates who refer purchasers to the product website, and they provide information about the product for potential affiliates, for example:
"Why promote Vedanate?
Thanks to our affiliate program webmasters have ability to earn by helping people suffering from type II diabetes. We have all necessary tools for webmasters (text links, wide choice of banners in English and German) to productively work together."

PayDot also have another diabetes product on their market, called Diabain.

I've previously written on the MoreNiche network, which is another TwistForum affiliate network that has a variety of products for sale including Phen375 and the Office of Fair Trading worked with them to make sure that affiliate sites are much clearer that they are taking a small cut of the profits (here's an example discussion on the MoreNiche forum).




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Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).