Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) approved a final consent order settling deceptive advertising charges against A&O Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a iV Bars regarding deceptive and unsupported health claims that iV Bars’ intravenously injected therapy products, or “iV Cocktails,” can safely and effectively prevent and treat such serious diseases as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.
According to the FTC’s complaint, which we previously wrote about here, iV Bars advertised, sold, and administered at least 10 different iV cocktails to consumers, including the Myers Cocktail and Immune Booster, for a cost of $100 – $250 or more per session. iV Bars’ IV drips, which contain mere mixtures of water, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, were marketed as delivering essential nutrients and fluids directly into the bloodstream that would detoxify, nourish, and rehydrate cells from the inside out for long lasting and instant results. iV Bars further claimed that their iV Cocktails were, in many instances, more effective and better tolerated than conventional medical therapies.
The consent order prohibits iV Bars and its owner from making any representation that its products provide an effective treatment for diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis, and from making any representation about the health benefits, efficacy, safety or side effects of its products unless the representation is non-misleading and is based upon competent and reliable scientific evidence that substantiates that the representation is true. Furthermore, the consent order prohibits iV Bars from misrepresenting that its products were created, tested and approved by physicians at a fictitious iV Bars Research Lab.
TAKEAWAY: This case sends a clear message to the burgeoning iV therapy industry and sellers of all healthcare products that if a company offers a product that it claims will treat a medical disorder or disease, it must rely on competent and reliable scientific evidence to substantiate its claim.