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Homeopathic Remedy Fraud
If you have purchased Natural Homeopathic medicines you may have been involved in a homeopathy scam, or homeopathy fraud. Certain homeopathic remedies are alleged to make unsubstantiated or false claims about improving health or 'curing' various ailments. Many homeopathic fraud lawsuits are being filed—and some have settled—by consumers who believe they were subject to a homeopathic scam.
Innumerable homeopathic remedies, elixirs and food supplements on the market make health claims that are unsubstantiated. Companies making homeopathic products cite 'clinical studies' that lack credibility and are not scientifically valid. Some companies go so far as to pay for the “clinical” studies, or they manipulate the data to verify and suit their marketing goals. Not only does the consumer buy an ineffective product and waste money, they could also forgo effective treatment. If an individual is attempting to treat a condition with homeopathic remedies, a homeopathic fraud could also put a consumer’s health at risk. Besides financial loss, homeopathic scams can potentially cause more serious health conditions for the consumer.
Homeopathic False Advertising
If you have purchased and used Natural Homeopathic remedies, natural “medicines”, natural supplements or food supplements by companies that allegedly make false or misleading claims, or engage in false or deceptive advertising of their products, you may want to take legal action. Attorneys are now investigating and determining whether certain homeopathic consumer fraud claims are actionable.
Homeopathy Fraud Lawsuits
A class action complaint was filed in the United States District Court, Southern State of California (Case No. '11CV2039 JAH NLS) by attorney Ronald Marron, Law Offices of Ronald Marron, on behalf of Plaintiff Salvatore Gallucci against Boiron Inc and Boiron USA Inc. claiming that its product Oscillococcinum (AKA Oscillo) is nothing more than a placebo (it contains sugar pellets and water), yet it is advertised as a cure for seasonal ‘flu, or the common cold. Further, the company states that Oscillo contains heart and liver of duck. Consumers are unwittingly purchasing—for millions of dollars-- this worthless product.
Similar complaints have been filed against other Homeopathic Medicine manufacturers. The Similasan (August 2011) complaint is seeking damages in excess of $5 million for its sale of Children’s Earache Relief, a homeopathic medicine. The plaintiff alleges two causes of action consisting of violations under the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL).
A class action complaint (December 2011) against Boiron (above), claims its ColdCalm—advertised as a cold remedy—is nothing more than a sugar pill, and Arnicare Arthritis is a combination salt and sugar pill that the company claims has the ability to relieve arthritis, specifically trauma, muscle soreness, wrist pain, joint pain, and more. The complaints also targets other remedies made by Boiron. Chestal comprises sugar and salt water yet claims it can cure dry cough, chest congestion and other cough ailments. Quietude, also a salt and sugar pill, has the ability, according to Boiron, to provide relief from insomnia and other sleep-related issues.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is defined as “A system of therapy based on the concept that disease can be treated with drugs (in minute doses) thought capable of producing the same symptoms in healthy people as the disease itself. “ Practitioners of holistic healing treat the entire body and spirit. Believing that symptoms are the body's way of fighting disease, homeopathy encourages symptoms by prescribing a "remedy" in minuscule doses that in large doses would produce the same symptoms seen in the patient. These remedies are supposed to stimulate the immune system, thereby helping to cure illness.
The American Medical Association does not accept homeopathy, but neither does it reject the practice.
Homeopathy and the FDA
Any product listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the US was written into the law in 1938 by a senator who was also a homeopathic doctor. Since that time, the FDA has regulated homeopathic remedies under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
Homeopathic drug manufacturers are deferred from submitting new drug applications to FDA. Their products are exempt from good manufacturing practice requirements related to expiration dating and from finished product testing for identity and strength.
Not all homeopathic remedies are exempt from FDA regulations. For instance, if a homeopathic drug claims to be a cure for cancer, it can only be sold by prescription. Over-the-counter homeopathic medications to treat “self-limiting conditions” such as headaches, colds and minor health problems can be sold without a prescription.
According to the FDA, homeopathic drugs must be tested for scope of effect, manufactured, and labeled according to the Federal FD&C Act and the HPUS before they are considered official homeopathic drugs. Official homeopathic drugs can be marketed according to their classification in the HPUS. They are not regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.
Here are a few significant exemptions the FDA makes for homeopathic remedies as compared to other drugs:
1. They are not required to submit new drug applications to the FDA.
2. They are "exempt from good manufacturing practice requirements related to expiration dating".
3. They are exempt from "finished product testing for identity and strength".
4. They may "contain much higher amounts" of alcohol than other drugs, which may contain "no more than 10 percent...and...even less for children's medications".
Requirements for nonprescription labeling include:
• an ingredients list
• instructions for safe use
• at least one major indication
• dilution (for example 2X for one part per hundred, 3X for one part per thousand).
The FDA has issued more than 12 warning letters to homeopathic marketers over the past several years; the most common infraction was the sale of prescription homeopathic drugs over-the-counter.
What are Homeopathic Remedies?
Remedies made from a number of sources--including plants, minerals or animals--are used as a treatment based on both a person's symptoms and personality. The following homeopathic products are allegedly homeopathic scams and marketed by the manufacturers with false and misleading claims:
Arnicare, Boiron Avenoc, Boiron Calendula, Bitecare, Camilia, Boiron Chestal, Coldcalm, Oscillococcinum (AKA Oscillo), Sinusalia, Quietude, Arnicare
Max Anti Aging Supplement Human Growth Hormone HGH (hGH), Growth Hormone GHS Max
VesPro Life Sciences
Builds more muscle, improves bone density, increases energy, improves mood, mental alertness and memory, revitalizes libido or virility, boosts immune system function, speeds wound healing and recovery, provides anti-aging properties
Deer Antler velvet IGF-1, Pro TA-68 Testosterone Booster
Boosts hormone levels, builds more muscle, improves bone density, increases energy, improvesmood, revitalizes libido, improves memory
Teething relief for babies
Mega-T Dietary supplements: Green Tea Extracts
False Claim(s): Ability to cause weight loss; product marketed as weight loss supplements. (Read more about CCA Industries Class Action Settlement.)
Ends erectile dysfunction
Stops hair loss
Dial for Men Magnetic™
The Dial Company
Pheromones contained in soap make you more attractive to members of the opposite sex.
By 2007, $3.1 billion was spent on homeopathic medicine in the US alone. Consumers should be very wary of claims by manufacturers that their products effectively cure your ills. If claims made by natural or homeopathic supplement companies, vendors or stores like CVS Walgreens, Costco or Walmart sound too good to be true, they are probably false claims. If you have been a victim of false claims, contact a Natural and Homeopathic Consumer Advocate attorney.
Homeopathic Remedies Fraud Legal HelpIf you or a loved one has suffered damages due to false claims of a homeopathic product, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Last updated on Oct-29-13
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Doctors Note Homeopathic Remedies "Seldom Effective"
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FDA Issues Warning about Certain Homeopathic Remedies
San Francisco, CA: It is not that every homeopathic remedy is a scam. The problem is when homeopathic fraud occurs; when a person or company markets a product that has no proven benefits and can, in fact, harm people. In such cases, consumers may be able to file a homeopathy fraud lawsuit, alleging they were injured by the use of the homeopathic product [READ MORE]
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