FTC Sues maker of Supplements Claiming to Ease Symptoms of Drug Withdrawal

FTC Sues maker of Supplements Claiming to Ease Symptoms of Drug Withdrawal
Image: Pixabay
November 18, 2015

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop a dietary supplement marketer from making misleading claims that its product can help treat and cure people who are addicted to opiates, including prescription pain medications and illegal drugs such as heroin.

According to the FTC's complaint against the Florida-based company Sunrise Nutraceuticals deceptively claims that its dietary supplement Elimidrol, a proprietary blend of herbs and other compounds, alleviates opiate withdrawal symptoms and increases a user's likelihood of overcoming opiate addiction.

Sunrise allegedly ran advertising on its website targeting opiate-dependent consumers with claims that it is the #1 opiate withdrawal supplement, and that it is the only opiate withdrawal product guaranteed to work. Elimidrol purportedly is non-addictive, non-habit forming, and will help users permanently overcome withdrawal -- the first time. It also claims a high-success rate among users, and that the effects can be felt from the first dose.

In addition, Sunrise promotes Elimidrol with testimonials from opiate-dependent customers. For example, one testimonial states, "I was introduced to Elimidrol and it saved my life. This is not an exaggeration, it saved my life." The testimonialist goes on to say that she, "noticed within 30 minutes of the first dose that I was actually feeling pretty comfortable and I had a new sense of 'clarity' in me."

The FTC's complaint alleges, however, that Sunrise's ads for Elimidrol are deceptive because they are false or unsubstantiated. An 8-ounce bottle of Elimidrol costs $75. In filing the complaint, the FTC is seeking a court order providing redress and preventing the company from making such claims unless they can be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

The FTC also announced two partial settlements against marketers accused of making unsupported claims for weight-loss supplements. The cases are part of a law enforcement sweep targeting illegal dietary supplement marketing by the FTC, Department of Justice, Department of Defense, Food and Drug Administration, Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.