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Posted November 15, 2016

FTC Announces New Enforcement Policy on Homeopathic Drug Claims

On November 15, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its new enforcement policy on marketing claims for over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathic drugs. The policy will hold homeopathic drug claims to the same standard as other products making similar claims.

Homeopathy has been in use since the 1700s and is based on the philosophy that diluted substances have the ability to stimulate the body to heal itself. For example, the homeopathic "Law of Similars" states that a substance that produces a certain set of symptoms in a healthy person has the power to cure a sick person manifesting those same symptoms -- although usually the substance is given in minute quantities. 

The FTC policy states that "for the majority of over-the-counter homeopathic drugs the case for efficacy is based solely on traditional homeopathic theories and there are no valid studies using current scientific methods showing the product's efficacy. The FTC's news release continues, "As such, the marketing claims for these products are likely misleading, in violation of the FTC Act." 

However, the FTC also noted that "an OTC homeopathic drug claim that is not substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence might not be deceptive if the advertisement or label where it appears effectively communicates that: 1) there is no scientific evidence that the product works; and 2) the product's claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700s that are not accepted by most modern medical experts." 

See Related Warnings:

Homeopathic Teething Tablets and Gels May Pose Danger, FDA Warns

Don't Rely on Homeopathic Asthma Products, FDA Warns

Homeopathic Company Warned For Drug Claims and Improper Labeling

Homeopathic Manufacturer Settles False Advertising Suit

Homeopathic Products Recalled Due to Allergy Risk

To read the FTC's complete news release, use the link below.