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Posted December 1, 2017

Health Research Labs Agrees to Settle FTC Charges of False Claims, Deceptive Marketing of BioTherapex and NeuroPlus

On November 30, 2017, the FTC announced Health Research Laboratories LLC and owner, Kramer Duhon, agreed to settle charges that they made false claims about the company's products, BioTherapex and NeuroPlus.

The products were sold in the U.S. and Canada through direct mail marketing campaigns. BioTherapex sold for $39.95 per bottle and was promoted to treat treat arthritis, relieve joint and back pain, and cause significant weight loss. NeuroPlus sold for $39.99 per bottle and was advertised that it could protect the brain against Alzheimer's disease and dementia, reverse memory loss, and improve memory and cognitive performance. 

In its complaint, the FTC charged that these claims were false and/or unsubstantiated. Additionally, the company designed its direct mail order brochures to resemble scientific journals, and featured fictitious medical doctors and customer testimonials. A brochure for BioTherapex featured "results" of 1,200-person clinical study on the product that was never actually conducted.

The complaint charged that Health Research Laboratories used deceptive marketing practices such as misrepresenting the terms of the purported "risk free" trial period, enrolling consumers in auto-renewal plans without adequately disclosing that they were doing so; obtaining and charging consumers' debit card numbers without proper authorization, and misrepresenting the cost of the products to consumers in Canada. 

The new agreement prohibits that Health Research Laboratories from misrepresenting the existence or outcome of tests or studies, the existence of consumer testimonialists and expert endorsers, and the terms of free or risk-free trial offers, refunds, cancellations, negative option plans or automatic shipments. It requires the company to have competent and reliable scientific evidence to support any other claims about the health benefits or efficacy of any dietary supplement, and to obtain consumers' consent for negative option offers prior to using consumers' billing information to obtain payment. A $3.7 million judgment was issued but will be suspended once the defendants pay $800,000. 

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