Health Ministry issues warnings about products
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
Ministry says EZbetic “is not natural and is liable to cause a speedy and dangerous drop in blood sugar."
EZbetic – registered as a food supplement and not as a prescription drug – is
suspected by the Health Ministry of containing an active ingredient used to
treat type II diabetes, even though a food supplement may not legally contain
The ministry said on Wednesday that its lab discovered the
medication glibornuride, which is a member of the drug family of sulphonylurea
used in treating the disease.
Meanwhile, the ministry said that its
enforcement branch had filed a police complaint against Dr. Ilan Zamir, an
Orthodox physician who advertises his Jerusalem practice of homeopathic medicine
largely in the haredi media.
Senior ministry officials said they had
received numerous complaints against Zamir over the years but were able to take
action only after seizing creams the physician sells “as natural products” for
children and adults that lab tests identified as containing steroids, which are
not natural and cannot be sold without a prescription. Zamir also runs “salt
rooms” he claims are effective against respiratory problem.
said that EZbetic “is not natural and is liable to cause a speedy and dangerous
drop in blood sugar [hypoglycemia].”
“The danger is even greater if taken
with prescription drugs for treating diabetes such as Gluco-Rite, insulin and
others,” the ministry continued.
The product is sold mostly door-to-door
by salespeople and via Internet sites, especially in the North, the ministry
said, adding that there is no import and licensing agreement for sale in
The ministry urged the public not to purchase or consume the
Mickey Arieli, head of the ministry’s pharmaceutical crimes
unit, said it had recently intercepted 30,000 capsules of the product made in
China and smuggled in under various names. He had learned about it from a
pharmacist in the North who was told by a customer that it was very popular
among diabetics taking prescription medications.
“It is very cheap to
make in China, and those involved are making huge profits,” Arieli
Anyone with information about the capsules should call the unit at
Regarding Zamir, who is a licensed doctor, the ministry
officials said that two years ago, it investigated the case of a “four-month-old
baby treated by his mother with Zamir’s creams, causing his skin to be so
seriously affected that he looked horrific and was hospitalized at Shaare Zedek
Medical Center.” The child has since recovered.
Arieli, who was
accompanied on the “raid” by Dr. Michael Dor, head of the general
medicine branch, said the homeopathic preparations they found in Zamir’s office
had “not received approval from the ministry and were not natural as
The ministry spokeswoman on Wednesday issued a statement saying
it was “informing the pubic that formulations and creams from materials whose
sources are not known are marketed by Dr. Ilan Zamir’s Givat Shaul clinic
in Jerusalem, some of them marked ‘All Natural’ but containing active
The spokeswoman added that “among the
products found were drugs prepared as pharmaceutical preparations not approved
by the ministry, without the required expiration dates and found to contain
The ministry added that it suspected the products
“had been provided to patients in Dr. Ilan Zamir’s Givat Shaul
It “recommended to the public that they stop using these
products and will continue its efforts to conclude the examination and take
suitable action against the physician and the marketers.”
Post tried to contact three phone numbers at Zamir’s clinic but none of the
calls were answered, nor were there responses to phone messages.