In the wake of a Youtube troll campaign on 24 May, the Philippine FDA issued a cease-and-desist order against Fabunan Viral Injection and the Department of Health announced that it was assembling a case against Dr Willie Fabunan.
In the third week of April 2020, following a concerted science-free social media campaign on Facebook snd Youtube, the Philippine government ordered the Food And Drug administration to look into claims that Fabunan Antiviral Injection, FAI,cured Covid-19.
Facing the effort, largely promoted by supporters of the current president, is acupuncturist Willie Fabunan from Zambales. He has yet to present scientific evidence of the safety and effectiveness of FAI, nor offered peer-reviewed studies to justify his claims.
Public records show the inventor of FAI has been involved in two companies, both now defunct: Dr Shoe Box, registered in California, a company selling shoe covers for vehicle drivers of which he was president, and Fil-Am Tech Inc., a Nevada-registered company set up in 2001 to market his patented injections to third world countries.
Other than mentions in the Philippine press regarding dengue and HIV, there are few if any reports elsewhere mentioning Fil-Am Tech, Inc.
Although it is claimed to have ‘presented’ FAI at the XIX AIDS Conference its involvement seems to have been limited to hiring booth space in the conference exhibition and handing out brochures.
In 2012, Fil-Am Tech says it was seeking partners or collaborators to carry out clinical trials. There are no public reports of any such arrangements and by the time the Nevada state authorities withdrew the company registration in late 2017, the company had failed to publish any clinical trial data in its entire existence of nearly two decades.
Fil-Am Tech is referenced in a number of Facebook posts despite no longer being registered and Ruben Fabunan has distanced himself from the Fabunan Medical Clinic. The company’s Facebook page is no longer available
The US is currently undergoing a Covid-19 crisis, FAI is patented in the US, Ruben Fabunan is a US resident. Curiously FAI is not being deployed in the US, where those making false medical claims can be prosecuted severely.
Let’s take a look at how real medicines are researched, validated, and approved.