FTC to FDA: Ramp up oversight on homeopathic drug makers
- According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), many of the advertising claims from homeopathic drug-makers are not evidence-based, leading the agency to urge the FDA to bolster its regulation of the industry.
- Homeopathy is based on the notion that substances that cause symptoms of an illness can treat the illness when delivered in highly diluted doses.The overall homeopathic drug industry in the U.S. is worth roughly $3 billion.
- The FTC has received 141 consumer complaints about homeopathic medications since 2007.
The FTC has been looking with growing alarm at the homeopathic drug industry and how it advertises its products, which are sold alongside conventional drugs in chain stores, to consumers. The FTC considers it highly problematic that although the FDA requires that homeopathic drugs be labeled with an indication, no scientific substantiating evidence is required.
In April, the FDA held a meeting to address these concerns. There was a docket full of FTC representatives and others who essentially requested better FDA oversight of the homeopathic drug industry. The upshot, according to the FTC, is that consumers need more evidence-based data and solid scientific information in order to make good decisions in order to not be taken advantage of financially.