Last week, the FTC brought its first action against a company marketing and selling intravenously injected therapy products, or “iV Cocktails” as they are often called. In its Press Release, the FTC announced that it reached a settlement with A&O Enterprises Inc., d/b/a iV Bars, and its individual owner/operator, that prohibits iV Bars from making unsupported claims about its iV Cocktails.
According to the Complaint, iV Bars offers its iV Cocktails to consumers for about $100-$250 per “treatment”. iV Bars marketed the treatments on its website and social media as an alternative to traditional medicine as a way to treat major diseases including cancer, congestive heart failure, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and neurodegenerative disorders.
These iV Cocktails have been growing in popularity during recent years as an alternative to traditional medicine, but what exactly make up these cocktails? The FTC found that, at least in the case of iV Bars, the “treatments” were nothing more than a mix of water, vitamins, minerals and herbs. iV Bars failed to produce evidence to support the claims that the iV Cocktails are effective at treating major diseases, triggering the FTC order that prohibits the company from making unsupported health and efficacy claims.
Earlier this month, iV Bars also notified consumers who purchased the “Myers Cocktail”, one of iV Bars’ “treatments”, to clarify some of the health claims used to market the iV Cocktail. In its email, iV Bars included a clarification that, contrary to its marketing claims, studies have not shown the Myers Cocktail is an effective treatment for any disease.
TAKEAWAY: The FTC takes health claims very seriously particularly because they can cause some of the worst harm to consumers. If a company offers a product that it claims will treat any type of medical disorder, it better have substantive and concrete evidence to support those claims.