Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Alternative medicine

Companies producing homeopathy medicines in US must state they do not work

Producers of homeopathic treatments sold over the counter (OTC) in the United States must state on their labels and marketing materials that the products do not work or provide evidence of efficacy for any claims made, a US government agency says.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an agency set up to protect consumers and promote competition, issued a new ‘Enforcement Policy Statement on Marketing Claims for Over-the-Counter (OTC) Homeopathic Drugs’.

The statement, which was published on 15 November 2016, says that companies making claims about OTC homeopathic drugs must meet the same standards as companies making similar claims about non-homeopathic products, meaning they must have “competent and reliable scientific evidence for health-related claims”, including claims that a product can treat specific conditions.

For the vast majority of OTC homeopathic drugs, the policy statement says: “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.”

As such, “marketing claims that such homeopathic products have a therapeutic effect lack a reasonable basis and are likely misleading in violation” of the policy statement.

Marketing claims made for OTC homeopathic drugs that are not backed up by reliable scientific evidence must be accompanied by additional explanatory information to prevent those claims made from being misleading, the FTC says.

It also says that while an OTC homeopathic drug claim may not be substantiated by reliable scientific evidence, it might not be deceptive if its advertisement or label where it appears communicates that there is no scientific evidence that the product works; or that the product’s claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700s that are not accepted by most modern medical experts.

However, the policy statement emphasises that any explanatory information should stand out and be in close proximity to the product’s efficacy message.

The FTC says it “will carefully scrutinise the net impression of OTC homeopathic advertising or other marketing employing disclosures to ensure that it adequately conveys the extremely limited nature of the health claim being asserted”.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 20201998

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £138.50Buy now
  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 2 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £262.50Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Strategic Medicines Management

    Strategic Medicines Management

    A practical guide to influencing the availability of medicines, and policies of their use. Focuses on the strategic elements of medicines management.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutics (An)

    Introduction to Clinical Pharmaceutics (An)

    This unique textbook covers the role of basic pharmaceutics in clinical outcomes and in explaining the behaviour of medicines in the body.

    £27.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • The Federal Trade Commission building in Washington DC

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.