Posted January 16, 2015

CVS Sued for Eye Health Supplement Claims

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against CVS for promoting the company's Advanced Eye Health supplement as comparable to the formula used in the large National Institutes of Health (NIH) eye disease study known as AREDS2, despite the fact that it does not contain the same ingredients.

The plaintiffs filing the suit, both of whom suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), said in their complaint that based on statements on the Advanced Eye Health label, they believed it contained the same formula used in the AREDS2 study and that the product could therefore reduce their risk of developing advanced AMD. However, the lawsuit contends, the CVS supplement "is in no way comparable to the NIH study formula" and "only contains ingredients that the NIH found ineffective at slowing the progression of AMD (omega-3 fatty acids) and two carotenoids that NIH said could be used as an alternative to the originally studied carotenoid beta-carotene."

The complaint also states that the supplement "does not contain any vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, or copper - all a part of the specific formula that NIH found to be effective at reducing the risk of developing advanced AMD."

The NIH AREDS2 study found that a certain combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper and beta-carotene reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD, but that the addition of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil had no further benefit. While the addition of lutein and zeaxanthin was not found to provide an additional benefit overall, it did reduce the risk of disease progression in individuals with very low dietary intake of these carotenoids. Additional analysis of study data also found that substituting a combination of lutein and zeaxanthin for beta-carotene might further reduce the risk of disease progression.

(For details about the AREDS2 formula, and key findings from the study, see the SPECIAL SECTION: Vision Formulas Used in AREDS Studies in the Vision Supplements Review).

ConsumerLab.com notes in it's Vision Supplements Review that most eye health products on the market do not contain what appears to be the ideal formula, but provides information about which formulas most closely resemble the one used in the AREDS2 study.

See Related Warnings:

Four Companies Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Weight Loss Claims

Marketers of "Genetically Customized" Supplements Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Health Claims

Sensa Settles Second False Advertising Lawsuit

To read the full complaint, use the link below.