The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has, for the first time, charged a marketer and seller of intravenously injected therapy products, known as iV Cocktails, with making a range of “deceptive and unsupported health claims” about their ability to treat serious diseases.
The proposed FTC order prevents the company, which operates clinics in Texas and Colorado, and its owner from making such claims unless they can be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.
“This enforcement action should send a clear message to the burgeoning IV therapy industry and sellers of all healthcare products,” said Joe Simons, chairman of the FTC. “Health claims must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.”
Beginning in mid-2015, FTC said the company, iV Bars, used its website and social media to advertise a variety of iV Cocktails, costing consumers $100 or more, with iV Bars claiming they could treat serious diseases including cancer, congestive heart failure, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, fibromyalgia and neurodegenerative diseases.
The iV Cocktails were “actually a simple mix of water, vitamins, minerals, and herbs injected directly into the bloodstream,” FTC said.
And with the first action taken against an IV product marketer, will FTC also begin targeting injectable stem cell clinics and their false marketing
as FDA has begun to?
Leigh Turner, associate professor at the Center for Bioethics, School of Public Health, & College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, told Focus: “I suppose the FTC can distinguish clinics selling IV cocktails on the basis of what is administered to recipients but in terms of false marketing claims I can’t say I see much of a difference" between unapproved injectable products and unapproved stem cell products.
“There are rumors the FTC is investigating one or more stem cell clinics but I haven’t seen any evidence of actual enforcement activity,” he added.
Proposed FTC order