This patient association calls for the suspension of the accounts of influencers promoting treatments or devices diverted from their main use, as may have been the case with Ozempic or glucose sensors.
The French Federation of Diabetics wants to take part in the discussion. While a bill on the regulation of commercial influence will be examined from Tuesday in the National Assembly, this patient association is calling for the supervision of influencers on health issues.
In a press release sent to BFMTV.com, the Federation denounces the promotion by influencers of “miracle cures for diabetes, anti-diabetic treatments for weight loss or even medical devices for ‘lifestyle’ use. “.
An antidiabetic used for weight loss
The last alert on this subject dates from the beginning of March, with a reminder from the ANSM and Health Insurance that the antidiabetic drug Ozempic “must be reserved for the treatment of insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes”.
“Reports from the field report misuse in non-diabetic people with the aim of weight loss”, explained the two public establishments in a joint press release.
The causes of this “diverted use”, for the moment “limited” in France, are partly to be found on the side of the social network TikTok. People sometimes very followed (mainly Americans, but not only) tell their “journey of weight loss” thanks to this drug without necessarily having diabetes.
It is about “advertising for health products which correspond to a rigorous framework, which in these cases is not respected”, denounces to BFMTV.com Jean-Francois Thebaut, vice-president of the FFD.
Ozempic is not a trivial product and can have undesirable effects, such as gastrointestinal disorders, pancreatitis or hypoglycaemia. The ANSM and Health Insurance also point out that “the diversion of this drug for weight loss has a direct impact on its availability for diabetic patients and can cause, or accentuate, supply tensions depriving them of this essential treatment. “.
Medical devices for “entertainment”
The FFD also points to content creators who display themselves with a glucose sensor even though they are not diabetic, as the influencer I’m not pretty did last summer. These devices make it possible to measure the glucose level in real time and to avoid regular finger pricks.
“These behaviors undermine the image of a community”, that of people with diabetes, says Jean-Francois Thebaut.
They give “a playful side, well-being to these devices, while diabetes is an important and restrictive disease. Some people were hurt to see that they were used for entertainment”, explains the vice-president of the French Federation of Diabetics.
According to Public Health France, a public body dependent on the Ministry of Health, diabetes affects more than 3.6 million people in France: this chronic disease exposes you to many complications, such as stroke or heart failure.
The FFD requests the suspension of the accounts concerned
This association would like the bill brought by MPs Stephane Vojetta and Arthur Delaporte, respectively Renaissance and Socialist – Nupes, goes further. For now, the text helps clarify that the rules that apply to advertising on all other channels also apply to influencers.
The FFD “demands that the accounts on the social networks of ‘influencers’ promoting the ‘out-label’ use of treatments or medical devices be suspended and, in the most serious cases, a systematic prosecution for medical practice or illegal pharmaceutical”.
More generally, it asks for “specified the framework applicable to information and communication relating to health products”, the facts denounced not always being publications within the framework of paid partnerships.
Source: BFM TV