HEALTH

FTC looks to debunk health benefit claims made by POM Wonderful in suit

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON The Federal Trade Commission has sued the maker of a pomegranate juice that touts health benefit claims.

 

The FTC announced that it was suing POM Wonderful for its "deceptive advertising" on Monday. Federal regulators alleged that ads that ran in such publications as the New York Times, as well as Parade, Fitness and Prevention magazines, violated federal law by making deceptive disease prevention and treatment claims, including "clinical studies prove that POM Juice and POMx prevent, reduce the risk of and treat [heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction]." The FTC complaint said that the claims are false because the company either:

  • Conducted scientific studies that did not show heart disease benefit from use of its products;
  • The study POM Wonderful relied on was neither “blinded” nor controlled (to merit prostate cancer claims); or
  • The study on which the company relied (for erectile dysfunction claims) did not show that POM Juice was any more effective than a placebo.

 

 

“Any consumer who sees POM Wonderful products as a silver bullet against disease has been misled,” said David Vladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.  “When a company touts scientific research in its advertising, the research must squarely support the claims made. Contrary to POM Wonderful’s advertising, the available scientific information does not prove that POM Juice or POMx effectively treats or prevents these illnesses.”

 

The FTC issues an administrative complaint when it has reason to believe that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the commission that a proceeding is in the public interest, the government agency noted.

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Sun Pharma gets FDA approval for ALS generic

BY Alaric DeArment

MUMBAI, India The Food and Drug Administration has approved a generic version of a drug for a devastating muscular disorder.

 

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries announced Tuesday the approval of riluzole hydrochloride in the 50-mg strength. The tablets are used to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

 

 

The drug is a generic version of Sanofi-Aventis’ Rilutek, which has sales of around $50 million, according to Sun.

 

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Cirrus targets ear-ringing with Tinnitex

BY Allison Cerra

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. Cirrus Healthcare Products has expanded its ear care offerings with a new product, slated to hit retail shelves in spring 2011.

Tinnitex is the first and only earplug to help relieve tinnitus, a condition that causes ringing in the ears, the company said. According to the Journal of Clinical Nursing, more than 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus.

“Tinnitex gives the suffering consumer an option to the inconvenience of ear drops or the excessive amount of pills that consumers are tired of taking. The Tinnitex earplug is easy to apply and comfortable to wear and, at about $10 at retail for six pairs, provides affordable relief,” said Cirrus CEO Drew O’Connell.

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