South Korean most cancers sufferers have brought about a scarcity of an anti-parasitic drug for canines within the nation, after YouTube movies went viral claiming that the therapy cured a United States affected person with terminal most cancers.
Regardless of repeated warnings from the federal government about feared negative effects, a rising variety of sufferers have been taking fenbendazole, meant for ridding intestinal bugs in canines and cats, in a phenomenon that’s leaving medical doctors and well being authorities in South Korea shaking their heads in disbelief.
Greater than a dozen sufferers with well-advanced most cancers went a step additional, importing a sequence of movies displaying themselves taking the drug and reporting on the modifications occurring to their our bodies over weeks.
The fenbendazole craze began in early September after a South Korean YouTube channel launched a narrative about Joe Tippens, an Oklahoma man who claimed the canine medication saved him and others from succumbing to most cancers.
Tippens informed Koco 5 Information that his most cancers was gone inside three months of taking the drug, following a web-based tip he noticed from a US veterinary surgeon.
He tried that after medical doctors informed him two years in the past that he ought to name a hospice and put together to say his goodbyes, as a result of his lung most cancers had unfold throughout his total physique.
Stephen Prescott, president of the Oklahoma Medical Analysis Basis, mentioned he was normally sceptical about such circumstances, however didn’t instantly dismiss the anti-parasitic’s potential, saying there was there was an “attention-grabbing background to this”, Koco 5 Information reported.
He mentioned Tippens was not the primary individual to probably profit, and wouldn’t be the final.
“Scientists and lots of credible locations have finished work on this for years,” Prescott mentioned, including he would work with Tippens to organise a case examine.
However it was unclear if it was the de-wormer that was efficient. Tippens had taken the canine medication along with Vitamin E dietary supplements, cannabidiol, and an experimental cancer-fighting drug.
Tippens mentioned out of 1,100 sufferers, he was the one individual cleared of most cancers within the scientific trial.
However he believed it was the canine de-wormer that saved him, and mentioned he deliberate to take it for the remainder of his life.
“My insurance coverage firm spent US$1.2mil (RM4.98mil) on me with conventional means earlier than I switched to a US$5 (RM21)-a-week medication that really saved me,” he mentioned.
Tippens, who claims he has heard about 40 comparable tales from different most cancers survivors, shared his story on a weblog that has been learn greater than 100,000 occasions.
A few of his followers included South Korean comic and singer Kim Chul-min, who’s affected by stage-four lung most cancers.
Kim mentioned on Fb that his ache eased and his blood-test outcomes improved after he began taking fenbendazole in early October.
The celeb made the identical declare in a state-TV information journal, whilst well being authorities warned concerning the hazards animal medication may trigger people.
“Excessive doses of the drug administered over an extended interval may cause critical harm to blood, nerves and liver,” the Ministry of Meals and Drug Security mentioned.
The Korean Medical Affiliation additionally issued a warning.
“We will’t advocate the usage of the drug as no scientific trials have been carried out on people and its security has not been confirmed,” it mentioned, including it may undermine the consequences of prescribed most cancers medication or trigger sudden negative effects.
Nonetheless, determined sufferers have lobbied the federal government to conduct scientific checks to establish if the anti-parasitic works on people.
A web-based petition on the presidential Blue Home web site garnered assist from greater than 4,500 customers inside per week after it was launched.
Sufferers have additionally mentioned in on-line posts they intend to chop off costly most cancers therapy in favour of fenbendazole.
Others mentioned they have been sourcing the dewormer on-line from abroad suppliers. A set of four-gram packets of the drug prices some 30,000 gained (RM107) in on-line purchasing malls, solely a fraction of what most cancers medicines price.
Some pharmacies reported that provides of the canine vermicide had plunged after the viral claims.
“It has turn out to be troublesome to safe fenbendazole over the previous few weeks following the information concerning the US most cancers affected person taking the drug,” mentioned pharmacist Chun Bo-kyung at Ichon Sarang Pharmacy in Seoul. “Sufferers appear to be drastically influenced by what they learn on-line.”
Lee Sang-yoon, a veterinary surgeon, mentioned he acquired many calls from purchasers pleading with him to promote fenbendazole, claiming their kin have been affected by superior most cancers.
“I properly perceive their determined state of affairs and really feel sympathy for them. However I be sure that we dispense the medication just for canines and cats when they’re introduced right here by their house owners,” Lee mentioned. “We merely don’t use it for people.”
Medical consultants say it’s an uphill battle to coach sufferers who determine to consider in Web claims and folks cures over the recommendation of skilled medical consultants.
“Some sufferers rush to the emergency room with intestinal necrosis and different critical negative effects after taking overdoses of fenbendazole,” mentioned Yoo Byung-chul, a health care provider at Konkuk College Hospital in Seoul.
One other physician, Ahn Byoung-hai, mentioned social media has made it very straightforward for wild claims to unfold, inflicting “false hope”.
The Korean-language YouTube video about Tippens garnered greater than 2 million views two months after it was uploaded.
“The craze about fenbendazole couldn’t have occurred with out the Web,” he mentioned. “YouTube is spreading quick and vast what seems to be a false hope.” – South China Morning Put up
Article sort: free
Consumer entry standing: 3