South Korean cancer patients have caused a shortage of an anti-parasitic drug for dogs in the country, after YouTube videos went viral claiming that the treatment cured a United States patient with terminal cancer.
Despite repeated warnings from the government about feared side effects, a growing number of patients have been taking fenbendazole, meant for ridding intestinal bugs in dogs and cats, in a phenomenon that is leaving doctors and health authorities in South Korea shaking their heads in disbelief.
More than a dozen patients with well-advanced cancer went a step further, uploading a series of videos showing themselves taking the drug and reporting on the changes happening to their bodies over weeks.
The fenbendazole craze started in early September after a South Korean YouTube channel introduced a story about Joe Tippens, an Oklahoma man who claimed the dog medicine saved him and others from succumbing to cancer.
Tippens told Koco 5 News that his cancer was gone within three months of taking the drug, following an online tip he saw from a US veterinary surgeon.