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Dr. Oz Warns Viewers about Fake Drugs and Fights Back

Tim Boyer's picture

“I realize that the moment that I recommend any solution or product to better your health, store owners, websites, magazines, and advertisers start manipulating my words to sell their products. But today I’m here to tell you that I’m mad as hell as I’m taking back my name,” says Dr. Oz as he reveals to viewers that he is fighting back to protect his name and warn viewers about fake drugs advertised under his name and image.

Dr. Oz tells viewers that any drugs or supplements advertised with his name and image are doing so without his permission and that he does not personally endorse any brand of drug or supplement. This latest Oz news is contrary to what many health food, supplement, grocery store and internet sites attest to and would have you believe as can be seen on special displays and devoted aisles set aside and stocked with the latest Dr. Oz recommended supplements.

Examples of just a few—but extremely popular—supplements recommended by Dr. Oz on his TV health show that are falsely advertised with his name and image include Acai Berry, Resveratrol, Raspberry Ketones and African Mango.

Special guest Shree Sreenivasan, chief digital officer at Columbia University appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and explained to Dr. Oz and viewers how easy and inexpensive it is to set up an online advertisement of a drug or supplement using Dr. Oz’s name as a hook to get people to view the advertisement.

He demonstrated the allure of using Dr. Oz’s name by performing a Google search using Dr. Oz’s name and showed that “Dr. Oz” and “Green Coffee” are two keywords matched together by search engines as popular with internet users and therefore rates very high on search engine results. Clicking on the keywords revealed multiple pages filled with advertisements of sellers of green coffee bean extract with Dr. Oz’s name and image highlighting a supposed endorsement by Dr. Oz.

“If you see my picture next to them [the products] being sold on these types of websites then you are being duped,” says Dr. Oz heatedly as he tells viewers that he cannot and does not endorse products on his show. Dr. Oz tells viewers that many of the Green Coffee Bean Extract supplements advertised may not really contain the active ingredient needed to lose weight.

Mr. Sreenivasan demonstrated one example of how simple it is to create an advertisement in Facebook using Dr. Oz’s name and image and manufactured quote to sell a dubious weight loss product and be in business in just a matter of minutes. He explains that a seller does not even need to have any product on hand. Rather, that a seller’s initial investment is toward buying advertising space that will rank higher with the more money put into it to get ahead of competing sellers. The seller can then buy fake supplements from elsewhere and then sell it at a profit to the orders received through his bogus advertisement. Or, in a worst case scenario, take your money, steal your identity and disappear.

“It is so easy, and I hope the lesson is to be very careful of anything you see on the Internet…but medical information especially,” says Mr. Sreenivasan.

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To combat the problem with drug and supplement sellers using his name, Dr. Oz and his lawyers contacted officials at Facebook and Amazon requesting that all webpages endorsing drugs and supplements using Dr. Oz’s name and image be removed. Both web services responded that they will work with Dr. Oz in removing the offenders and their products. Furthermore, Dr. Oz is also enlisting the help of his audience to act as watchdogs and report to their internet provider instances of sellers of online drugs and supplements using Dr. Oz’s name and image.

However, the internet is only part of the problem. As it turns out, grocery stores and pharmacies are also guilty of illegally using Dr. Oz’s name and address on products they sell. While this does not mean that your grocery store or pharmacy may be selling a fake drug or supplement under the same name as a supplement recommended on The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz points out that not all sellers may go the extra mile to ensure that the supplement they sell is the same one he recommended on the show and that some look-alike supplements may have ingredients that can be harmful to your health.

To do more to protect his viewers from the risk of buying into a sales pitch using his name and image, Dr. Oz made the announcement about how he is changing how supplements are aired on his show.

“For the last 3 years my mission had and always will be, to better your health and make your busy lives a little easier. Because so many merchants are using my name and image to sell products, I’ve decided that this season that we are no longer supplying brand names. It’s a big shift. But I feel passionately about it. If we do have a sponsorship, I am going to disclose it to you, and the products recommended will be researched and vetted and approved by me,” says Dr. Oz as he tells viewers about his newly created “Oz Watch.”

“Oz Watch: If You See Something, Send Something” is a webpage on the official Dr. Oz website where viewers can report instances of seeing Dr. Oz’s name and image being illegally used to sell a product. Dr. Oz encourages viewers to take a cell phone image of the item and send it to him and his staff via the Oz Watch webpage.

Dr. Oz also encourages viewers to visit his website, Facebook, Twitter and Pin Interest web pages to get the latest news on his show with helpful and accurate medical advice. With support from his fans, he believes that he can take back his name and help protect viewers from fake drugs and supplements that he does not personally recommend.

Follow this link to an article that tells exactly what to look for in choosing a green coffee bean extract diet pill as explained and recommended by Dr. Oz.

Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFile

Reference: The Dr. Oz Show



I don't get it. His drugs that are the same names are the only ones that aren't fake? Where does he buy his - where do other vendors buy theirs? Does he have a team that makes green coffee bean extract for instance? Grandstanding - that's all this is. :)
My best paranoid guess is that this is really "lawyer created" to prevent the threat of class action lawsuits should a population of viewers suffer from an adverse event from a "recommended" as opposed to "endorsed" product. To be fair, Consumer Reports has shown that not all supplements are equal. 60 Minutes reported on bad meds due to quality control problems with third world nations supplying raw materials for the manufacturer. And the FDA has repeatedly reported on toxic heavy metals in supplements--particularly those used in Ayurvedic medicine. All of which are advertised under the same or similar names. Hence, the real need for federal regulation on the supplement industry that is equal to that of the pharmaceutical industry. Grandstanding--nah...that's just show biz!
Close...but he's really just starting to begin his own marketing scheme to make 'official' oz branded supplements and other health related items. He's gotta get rid of all the competition first, then he can sell his shit to his legion who will buy it like crazy.
Spot on!
a friend sent me a link to a weight loss item. there was Dr. oz on a video from his tv show endorsing this fantastic product. the company said if I gave my email I would get 60% off. I would get 3 bottles for about $17.00 each, and get 2 bottles free. when I checked my bank acct two days later I had a $79.00 charge for something I didn't order, and $179.00 for the so called $17.00 each. I called my bank and we were able to remove the $79.00 item but the other $179.00 was already shipped and I have to wait and send it back to them when I receive it. the clever thing is when I tried to contact the company, when I placed the order, there was no company name, no phone #, and no email. when you hit contact, it just went back to the same fill out the info page. I hope we can room all these people with bernie madoff.
Sorry to hear about how you were cheated. Unfortunately it happens to all of us at one time or another when dealing with people and/or businesses online. I would room these people with some timeshare sales people I've dealt with in the past. Good luck and good health.
It's true - supplements and regulated meds can be tainted - but again, what makes his own endorsed products different? Oh yes - he's a doctor. ...:)
Nothing to do with his lawyers! I was to send in only $9.95 to get these coffee beans sent to me. Just S&H. Then I also sent total of $175 like the add said for 3 bottles. 1 bottle came. I called the manufacter and they daid I only sent them $9.95.
I just received in the mail a order form with Dr. Oz picture on it with a product call Erectone Premium, it this product back by Dr. Oz.
Answer to question above!
We are not Dr. Oz - we're not affiliated with him, so we would have no idea. I would call the company and ask.