Public/Consumer Information - BFAD
23 October 2021
Healthy Pilipinas

What are some precautions in taking dietary supplements?

Name of Office: Food & Drug Administration

A: Some dietary supplements have documented benefits; the advantages of others are unproven and claims about those products may be false or misleading.

  • For example, claims that you can eat all you want to lose weight effortlessly just by taking their products are not true.
  • One other example is those body building products that can tone you up effortlessly or build muscle mass without exercise.
  • Other questionable claims involve those products advertised as effective in curing insomnia, reversing hair loss, relieving stress, curing impotency, improving memory or eye sight, and slowing the aging process.
  • In addition to lacking documented effectiveness, some dietary supplements may be harmful under some conditions of use.
  • A label of "Natural" is no guarantee of a product's safety or effectiveness.
  • Consumers must read product labels and consult health professionals before taking dietary supplements (especially for children, adolescents, the elderly or chronically ill persons, and pregnant or breast-feeding women) Oftentimes, these products are imported without the necessary papers and there are claims that they are US FDA approved or Japan FDA approved. The US FDA does not regulate health supplements like these. Endorsements frequently come from foreign-authoritatively looking individuals.

How to spot false claims?

Name of Office: Food & Drug Administration

A: Typical fraudulent health claims will use the following promotional techniques to fool their customers:

  • The product is advertised as a quick and effective cure-all for a wide range of illness.
  • Certain key words like "scientific breakthrough, miracle cure, all natural without side-effects or ancient remedy" are used.
  • The promote claims that medical professionals and scientists have conspired to suppress the product.
  • Adverts contain undocumented, anecdotal cases, but with amazing results. No science involved.
  • These products sell falls hope for extreme physical attractiveness and shortcuts to weight loss. They will never emphasize the value of healthy lifestyles, like avoiding smoking, excess drinking of alcohol, eating appropriately, adequate rest and sleep, and regular exercise.
  • Remember that legitimate health supplement products will never carry claims for quick cures; claims such as cancer prevention, good for arthritis, good for diabetes or good for hypertension, should be high suspect.
  • The product is advertised as available from only one source.
  • There is a money-back guarantee promise.

What are the requirements to avail the 20% discount in the purchase of medicines for personal use of the Senior Citizen?

Name of Office: Food & Drug Administration

A: Requirements to avail of the 20% discount in the purchase of medicines for personal use are:

  • Present the national identification (ID) card and your purchase slip booklet duly approved by the OSCA chairman.
  • Doctor's prescription pad should have the following information:
  1. Patient name, age, address, and date
  2. Generic name of the medicine prescribed
  3. Name and address of the doctor; his PTR number and S2 license (if prohibited and regulated drug)
  • Those who cannot afford the consultation fee of a private doctor can consult at their nearest health center or government hospital and get a prescription free of charge.
  • Any single dispensing should not be more than one week's supply. However, when drugs are for chronic conditions requiring continuous use for more than a month, such as hypertension, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, arthritis, TB, cancer, psychosis, a maximum of one month's supply may be dispensed at a time.
  • The following should be recorded in a special record Book for Senior Citizens Discount provided under RA 7432:
  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. National ID number of Senior Citizen
  4. Generic Name of the drug/medicine
  5. Number of units dispensed