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Posted December 2, 2014

Glucosamine Class-Action Settlement Reversed by Appeals Court

On November 19, 2014, an appeals court rejected a settlement of a class-action lawsuit that alleged label claims on glucosamine products manufactured or sold by Rexall Sundown, Inc., NBTY, Inc. or their affiliates, were false, deceptive or misleading. Although the settlement was preliminarily approved by a U.S. District Court in 2013, the Appeals Court reversed the decision, finding that the agreement did not require a significant change in the wording of label claims, or provide fair compensation to the majority of consumers who have purchased the products.

For example, the proposed settlement would have allowed the companies to reword the claim "rebuilds cartilage" to "repairs cartilage" or "renews cartilage." It would also have allowed claims the Appeals Court called "dubious" - such as "maintain healthy connective tissue" and "improvements to joint discomfort in seven days" - to remain on the labels.

In addition, the Appeals Court estimated that only "one-fourth of one percent" of the estimated 12 million consumers who bought the products would receive "even modest compensation."

Glucosamine products affected by the lawsuit include Osteo-Biflex (Rexall Sundown) and generic versions sold by pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens.

(See's Review of Joint Health Supplements for tests of Osteo-Biflex and related products.)

The Appeals Court ordered the suit be sent back to trial court.

See Related Warnings:

Glucosamine Legal Settlement Over Labeling -- Many Products Covered

To read the Appeals Court's full decision, use the link below.