America’s opioid crisis is big business for deceptive marketers trying to hawk unapproved products claiming to help with opioid addiction and withdrawal. On Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warned marketers and distributors of 11 companies illegally marketing unapproved opioid cessation products.
All of the companies use online platforms to make illegal claims about their products' ability to cure, treat or prevent a disease.
"Health fraud scams like these can pose serious health risks," FTC said in a statement. "These products have not been demonstrated to be safe or effective and may keep some patients from seeking appropriate, FDA-approved therapies."
Examples of claims made by the deceptive companies included, "#1 Selling Opiate Withdrawal Brand" and "Safe and effective natural supplements that work to ease many physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal."
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said: "People who are addicted to opioids should have access to safe and effective treatments and not be victimized by unscrupulous vendors who are trying to capitalize on the opioid epidemic by taking advantage of consumers and selling products with baseless claims.
FTC, in coordination with SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued a fact sheet to help consumers get real help for opioid addiction or withdrawal, while avoiding products that promise but do not deliver help.
The joint warning included: Opiate Freedom Center ("Opiate Freedom 5-Pack"), U4Life, LLC ("Mitadone"), CalmSupport, LLC ("CalmSupport"), TaperAid ("TaperAid" & "TaperAid Complete"), Medicus Holistic Alternatives LLC ("Natracet"), NutraCore Health Products, LLC ("Opiate Detox Pro"), Healthy Healing, LLC ("Withdrawal Support"), Soothedrawal, Inc. ("Soothedrawal"), Choice Detox Center, Inc. ("Nofeel"), GUNA, Inc. ("GUNA-ADDICT 1"), and King Bio, Inc. ("AddictaPlex").