The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), formerly known as the Irish Medicines Board, has issued the warning on Globulin component Macrophage Activating Factor (GcMAF) following concerns that the product is being imported to Ireland to treat cancer patients.
Proponents of the blood product claim it can be used to treat cancer, HIV, and autism.
While the HPRA declined to comment whether it is investigating specific cases where GcMAF has been imported, it warned that it could pose a health risk to consumers and that there is no guarantee as to the safety, quality or effectiveness of the product.
“The HPRA understands from media reports that it is a blood product claimed to treat a range of conditions including cancer and autism,” a spokesperson for the HPRA said.
The HPRA warned any members of the public who have taken GcMAF to seek the advice of their GP or pharmacist as soon as possible.
“This medicine is not authorised and, therefore, has not been tested for quality, safety, and effectiveness and its benefit/risk in the claimed indications has not been independently verified. People who have purchased this product, should not start treatment,” the body warned.
Last year, the HPRA’s counterparts in the UK seized 10,000 vials of GcMAF following an unannounced inspection of a production site in Milton, Cambridgeshire. The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) then issued a warning to the public over the product, marketed as ‘First Immune’, and said that the production site does not meet manufacturing standards.
It also warned that there were concerns over the sterility of the medicine being produced, the equipment being used, and they further said they believed that the product may be contaminated.
One website offering information on GcMAF responded with a petition calling for the MHRA to be closed.
“The MHRA’s job is to get life saving treatments like GcMAF out to people as quickly as possible,” the petition read.
“Instead they block them to protect billion-dollar Big Pharma monopolies, who also fund the MHRA. Over a hundred thousand lives could be saved every year if the 1939 Cancer Act were repealed, and the MHRA were closed down.”
The same website claims that GcMAF can be used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s, autism, cancer, depression, HIV, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s, amongst others.
However Cancer Research UK has also warned the public to avoid GcMAF.
“To suggest that there is a ‘magic bullet’ that cures all cancers is simplistic in the extreme,” the body said.