Leachon

Distinguished health advocate Dr. Anthony C. Leachon takes legal action vs fraudulent ID exploitation

August 19, 2023 Dr. Tony Leachon 824 views

Dr. Tony LeachonDR. Anthony C. Leachon, an eminent physician, health reform advocate, and past president of the Philippine College of Physicians, has formally lodged a complaint with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on August 18, 2023. Accompanied by his legal counsel, Atty. John Paul P. Nabua, Dr. Leachon seeks to address the unauthorized and deceitful use of his professional identity for endorsing dubious health products.

Dr. Leachon, a recognized expert in the medical field and an internist and cardiologist at the prestigious Manila Doctor’s Hospital, has been at the forefront of public health efforts. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was appointed as a Special Adviser of the National Task Force against COVID-19 due to his extensive experience and dedication to public health advocacy.

Most recently, he was appointed as Special Adviser for Noncommunicable Diseases under the Department of Health (DOH), where he lends his extensive expertise and experience to promote public health.

The focal point of the complaint pertains to the unscrupulous exploitation of Dr. Leachon’s revered identity for the endorsement of unverified health products such as Dianorm, Jointlab, Glufarelin , GrandSure Gold, through deceptive online promotions. This unethical conduct not only deceives the public but also threatens their health and well- being.

Due to his long practice in medicine, advocacy in public and individual health, and the publicity brought about by his former status as Special Adviser against COVID, members of the public have taken an interest in advice he offers on topics of health and wellness to the members of the public on the said topics through a Facebook page “Dr. Tony Leachon” and a Youtube channel “Dr. Tony Leachon”, among other social media platforms.

However, due to the publicity generated by the health and wellness advisories he shares online, unidentified individuals began taking advantage of his image and reputation. They have used his credentials and reputation to endorse unscrupulous products falsely claiming to serve as treatment and/or medication for various medical conditions.

Several websites with unknown authors and managers have posted advertisements for the above-mentioned products and have used social media publicity materials that bear my name and image without my permission or consent. Some of them even attribute to me statements which I have never made in public or in private.

First, the website “https://www.cnn-philippines.site/” serves as an advertisement for a product marketed as Glufarelin. The advertisers present the product as a cure to diabetes mellitus, and discusses information which his my expertise is scientifically incorrect.

Worse is, the said website inappropriately uses a photograph of me and claims that he has found a remedy for diabetes.

The malicious and fraudulent way by which this website uses my identity is not authorized, and serves to mislead and/or defraud unsuspecting members of the public into believing that he has made such statements, or endorse Glufarelin as a product.

The website is crafted in such a way as to give the impression that he has been endorsing Glufarelin as a cure for diabetes. This simply is not true. He does not endorse the said product in any way, nor has he made the statements to support it

Second, another website, “https://www.diabeticmilk.com/fda” essentially makes the same claims as “https://www.cnn-philippines.site/” on Glufarelin. The said website features a prominent photo of Dr. Leachon beside the said product, as to give the impression that he endorses it and/or the science behind it.

Once again, the publicity material on the said website is designed in such a way as to give the impression that he endorses the said product and/or the science behind it. This is untrue.

Another website, “http://glufarelin-php.com/diabetes-milk”, once again makes the same claims as “https://www.cnn-philippines.site/” on Glufarelin. It also attributes to him the statement that “https://www.cnn-philippines.site/” falsely attributes to Dr. Leachon

There are also several other products such as “Grandsure Gold” and “JointLab” that have been advertised in identical, but now defunct websites, making use of similar incorrect and unscientific claims to cure to prevalent medical conditions. Such websites have also made use of similar tactics such as misattributed quotations and unauthorized use of my publicity materials.

These unscrupulous websites endorsing “Glufarelin”, “Grandsure Gold”, “and “JointLab” are all not connected to Dr. Leachon and their use of my image and identity are all unauthorized.

In his official complaint, Dr. Leachon delineated several instances where his image and standing were wrongfully misused:

1. Unidentified parties capitalized on his prominence by endorsing questionable products with fictitious curative claims.

2. Unauthorized websites falsely attributed scientifically inaccurate declarations to Dr. Leachon, including the false endorsement of products as diabetes cures.

3. Dr. Leachon’s photograph and name were harnessed without consent on various websites, creating a misleading illusion of his endorsement.

4. False assertions and misattributedstatements were used tomanipulate the public into believing that Dr. Leachon advocates for these unverified health products.

Dr. Leachon firmly repudiates endorsing any of these products and has used his official Facebook page “Dr. Tony Leachon” to disseminate clarifications. Moreover, he has proactively initiated measures to raise awareness about these deceptive endorsements and has officially notified the public.

The gravity of these fraudulent acts prompted the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines to consider a comprehensive investigation into the matter.

Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada introduced P.S. Res. No. 666, urging Senate committees to conduct a probe into these fraudulent online advertisements.

Furthermore, Health Secretary Ted Herbosa has also taken a stand against fraudulent practices by pledging to instruct Dr. Samuel A. Zacate, Director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to collaborate with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to combat the proliferation of fake online ads using prominent endorsers of drug and food supplements. Secretary Herbosa highlighted the prevalence of such ads on social media, some of which illegally use the names and images of well-known physicians, including his friends.

The official complaint filed by Dr. Anthony C. Leachon seeks to unmask these unethical practices and shield unsuspecting individuals from falling prey to fraudulent schemes.

Dr. Leachon’s resolute dedication to public health and his unwavering commitment to the integrity of his professional standing are reflected in this complaint.

About Dr. Anthony C. Leachon

Dr. Anthony C. Leachon is a distinguished internist and cardiologist at the Manila Doctor’s Hospital. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Philippine College of Physicians in 2007, and was named the Outstanding Filipino Physician (TOFP) in 2008. He was likewise accorded the Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) in Medicine in 2010.

In addition, he is renowned for his pivotal role in various public health initiatives and advocacy efforts, exemplified by his service as a Special Adviser for Noncommunicable Diseases under the Department of Health. Dr. Leachon’s unwavering commitment to health reform and public welfare drives his action against the fraudulent use of his identity for unverified health product endorsements.

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Anthony C. Leachon, M. D.

Special Adviser for Noncommunicable Diseases
Department of Health

Past President, Philippine College of Physicians

Internist – Cardiologist
Manila Doctors Hospital

AUTHOR PROFILE