May 4, 2011
In a joint effort announced Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said they had ordered 11 companies to stop selling fake STD cures or face criminal action. The targeted products include Medavir, Herpaflor, Viruxo, C-Cure, and Never An Outbreak. The companies warned by FDA claim their products treat and prevent the spread of STDs such as HIV/AIDS, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and genital warts.
"These companies need to stop making these claims and stop selling these products or face regulatory action, including seizure and injunction and criminal prosecution," said Howard Sklamberg, FDA's director of enforcement. "We need to warn consumers of these fraudulent claims and make them aware that these products are out there, and they don't do what they say. This is not only a threat to individual health, but also to general public health."
Officials reminded the public that the only medications proven to treat the STDs referenced in the products' advertising are available by prescription from a licensed medical practitioner. No nonprescription product has been shown to prevent or treat these conditions; persons who use such products may not seek effective medical treatment and may continue spreading the infections.
Shame and fear may cause some people to seek STD treatment from the Internet rather than a medical provider, said Dr. Jeffrey Engel, health director of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Concern over the reportable nature of most STDs and the resulting partner-notification procedures also plays a part, he said.
The two federal agencies handled the matter jointly because the FDA oversees labeling and product claims, while the FTC regulates advertising.
Consumers can report any problems relating to these products to FDA's MedWatch program; telephone 800-332-1088 or visit www.fda.gov/medwatch/report.htm. For more information, read the FDA press release.
Los Angeles Times
05.03.2011; Marni Jameson, Orlando Sentinel
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