FTC staff just sent 21 more warning letters to companies that have used allegedly unsubstantiated coronavirus prevention and treatment claims to promote products and services. Many of the latest letters focus on questionable representations for high doses of vitamins, intravenous treatments, ozone, and purported stem cell therapies.
Abundant Life Wellness Center. The Florida business has said its Zyto biofeedback software system can “scan individuals for a customized homeopathic dilution for the Coronavirus.” According to the company, “This means that if you are exposed to the virus and you are taking your customized homeopathic dilution, you could present with less or no symptoms than if you were not taking it.”
Vidaful Medicine. On its website, the Pennsylvania company has linked to articles about “Coronavirus Prevention with High Dose Vitamin C IV” and has recommended its own IV therapy as a preventive measure “for anyone potentially exposed” to coronavirus.
Liquivida Lounge. According to FTC staff, the Fort Lauderdale company has claimed that Vitamin C – which it sells – “may both prevent the infection and treat it in patients who already have it.”
RowenSu Clinic. The warning letter to the California clinic cites statements that have appeared on its website touting ozone therapy – which it markets – as a “Cost Effective Treatment for Coronavirus.” In addition, the company has claimed that coronavirus may “have a soft underbelly” that is “easily and safely exploitable with ozone-related services.”
Personalhealthshop.com. The company has sold elderberry products, including gummies, by making claims like this on its website: “Elderberry Vs Corona Virus. Elderberry is an antiviral. It prevents the virus from replicating in the body, so you want to take it early and often if you start feeling symptoms. Once a day for prevention, four times if you start feeling sick . . . most importantly [elderberry] is high in zinc . . . ZINC + CHLOROQUINE has shown positive results against Covid19 . . . .”
Prana IV Therapy. The warning letter cites statements the Arizona company has made on its website that “most recently among hospitals in China during the outbreak of Covid-19 . . . [a]ll patents who received IVC improved and there was no mortality. . . . It’s with this data in mind that we crafted our Super Immunity Blast IV.” The letter also mentions claims the company had made on Facebook and Instagram through a consumer testimonial.
REVIV. According to the letter, Miami-based REVIV has stated that consumers can “[h]elp protect and prevent again . . . the Coronavirus with a REVIV Megaboost IV Therapy containing a high dose of Vitamin C.” The website also has referenced “a recent clinical trial in China on coronavirus patients” purportedly demonstrating “decreased duration of hospital stay by 3-5 days.”
Windhorse Naturopathic Clinic. FTC staff says the Vermont company has claimed in marketing materials that “Vitamin C used intravenously is gaining promising clinical findings as a safe, inexpensive, and effective treatment to improve the outcomes of Covid-19 infection in critically ill patients.” The business has advertised that it “is currently administering IVC to WELL PATIENTS for prophylactic immune support.”
Alkaline for Life. The warning letter quotes claims the East Syracuse, New York, company has made on its website – for example, “HIGH-DOSE VITAMIN C PROTECTS AGAINST CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) . . . The coronavirus pandemic can be dramatically slowed, or stopped, with the immediate widespread use of high doses of vitamin C . . . COULD OUR ALKALINI-C HELP? The answer is yes.”
Ethos Natural Medicine LLC. The FTC staff letter cites statements the Reno, Nevada, company has made on its website about kratom, which the company sell – for example, “Does Kratom Help? While we wait for a vaccine which is estimated to be 12-18 months away, it is important for everyone to stay sanitary, to strengthen our immune system, and look to nature for help. Kratom has several possible immunostimulant alkaloids . . . .”
Greenbelt Outdoors. According to the FTC, the Austin company has promoted products with claims like this: “Buy your Chaga Extract here to block receptor site for Covid‑19/Coronavirus” and “Why N95 Masks DO NOT WORK And Only Hardening Your Immune System With Chaga And Vitamin C, D Does”
Absolute Health Clinic. Based in Olympia, Washington, the business has promoted its products and services by representing, “Did you know our clinic [has] . . . treatments available to treat COVID-19? . . . available treatments include . . . high doses of Vitamin C and D through IV therapy, and Stem Cell Therapy.”
Blessed Maine Herb Farm. On a section of its website titled “Preventive Care – Coronavirus,” the Athens, Maine, business cites a list of herbs to “protect against viral infection.” The company also advises consumers to “wear a protective amulet” of “garlic and prayers hung around your neck” and to “keep a small magic bag of protective herbs or stones in your pocket.”
Fast Relief Acupuncture. According to the warning letter, the New Jersey business has represented that “The use of acupuncture and herbal medication is vitally important when treating the Coronavirus. Not only can patients recover from the virus by receiving these treatments, patients can also use acupuncture and herbal medication to prevent the contraction of COVID-19.”
Jiva Med Spa. The warning letter cites statements the Columbus, Ohio, company has made in social media that products it sells – including Viragraphis, OlivDefense, and ImmunotiX 500 – should be taken “to help prevent the spread of this virus, the COVID-19” or “as soon as you start displaying symptoms of COVID-19.”
American Medical Aesthetics. According to marketing materials promoting the Los Angeles company’s products and services, people with COVID-19 have been “Cured with Ozone” and that treatments with “Mesenchymal Stem Cells” have been shown “to successfully treat the patient and reverse the illness.”
AwareMed. Based in South Carolina and Tennessee, the company has advertised its IVs as “a prevention treatment fronting this pandemi[c] of #covid19” and the “right treatment to prevent the #Covid 19.”
Center for Regenerative Cell Medicine. The FTC says the Scottsdale, Arizona, company has promoted its products and services by claiming on its website that “Mesenchymal stem cells are a viable option in new coronavirus infection treatment” and that stem cell therapy has “successfully treated” a COVID-19 patient.
Merge Medical Center. The South Carolina company has claimed on its website and in social media that consumers’ “Recipe for Survival” from coronavirus includes “IV high dose Vitamin C treatment,” an intravenous “Sepsis Treatment” protocol, and intravenous silver. The warning letter also cites the company’s claim that “Nano Silver Hydrosol is used to dramatically reduce the activity of the Coronavirus” by “suffocating it so it cannot do damage in the body.”
Stemedix, Inc. “While experts are diligently working on vaccines and drugs, one surprising treatment has demonstrated efficacy for combatting [coronavirus]: stem cell therapy.” According to the FTC warning letters, that’s just one claim the Florida business has used to promote its products and services.
TRULYHEAL Pty. Ltd. The Australian business has promoted its products by claiming, “Ozone plays a fundamental role in the treatment of viral infections including the Coronavirus (COVID-19) . . . .” According to the company, “To prevent and protect the body from a coronavirus infection at HOME with ozone, it is administered via rectal insufflation,” and it’s “the easiest, most inexpensive, safe, and effective protection solution that everyone should have available to them, their family and loves ones.”
The warning letters remind recipients that under the FTC Act, it’s illegal to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure a disease unless the company has competent and reliable scientific evidence to support what they say – which may mean well-controlled human clinical studies. Furthermore, “For COVID-19, no such study is currently known to exist” for the products and services cited in the letters. FTC staff expects to hear back from the companies within 48 hours with a description of the specific actions the recipients have taken to address the concerns.