For people struggling with opiate addiction – and the family and friends who love them – the claim that Elimidrol would let them “permanently overcome withdrawal – the first time” sounded like the miracle they’d been hoping for. But according to a lawsuit filed by FTC, it was just another broken promise. A settlement with Sunrise Nutraceuticals, the Boca Raton-based business behind Elimidrol, will require the company to have appropriate scientific evidence before making similar claims or other health-related representations.
According to Sunrise, Elimidrol would provide “powerful relief for all opiate withdrawals including prescription opiates, heroin, methadone, and suboxone.” Ads for Elimidrol touted it as “America’s #1 scientifically formulated detox support supplement that will provide you with the strength and comfort to successfully overcome opiate withdrawal by alleviating the intense mental and physical discomfort during the process.”
Don’t just take our word for it, the company claimed. In addition to dramatic testimonials, ads touted a “very high success rate.”
So just what was in the product advertised as so effective that it could counteract addicts’ overwhelming craving for opiates, including heroin? A mix of vitamins, minerals and herbs – including magnolia bark, passionflower herb, oat bran, and “lemon balm aerial parts.”
Filed in federal court in Florida, the FTC’s amended complaint alleged that Sunrise and managing member Joshua Erickson didn’t have proof to back up their promises. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, they’ll need human clinical testing to support disease-related claims, including claims about opiate dependence, addiction, or withdrawal. Other health-related representations will need the support of competent and reliable scientific evidence. The stipulated order also includes a judgment of almost $1.4 million. The defendants will turn over $235,000, with the remaining amount suspended based on their financial condition.
The message for marketers: Don’t promise easy answers to complicated medical conditions unless you have sound science on your side.