FTC to Examine Homeopathic Drug Ads


FTC / Federal Trade CommissionDrugs of any kind have always been a special category when it comes to advertising practices, and the trend toward the sale and marketing of over-the-counter homeopathic remedies has brought the issue once again into sharp relief.

The FTC is planning a workshop to delve into the issue.

It will be held at the Constitution Center in Washington on 9/21/15.

FTC explained, “During the last few decades, the homeopathic drug industry in the United States has grown considerably from a multimillion-dollar to a multibillion-dollar market. In that time, the homeopathic drug market has shifted from one based primarily on formulations prescribed for an individual user to mass-market formulations widely advertised and sold nationwide in major retail stores.

“Because of rapid growth in the marketing and consumer use of homeopathic products, the FTC is hosting a workshop to evaluate the advertising for such products. The workshop will bring together a variety of stakeholders, including medical professionals, industry representatives, consumer advocates, and government regulators.”

Specific issues to be addressed include:
* A look at changes in the homeopathic market, its advertising, and what consumers know;
* The science behind homeopathy and its effectiveness;
* The effects of recent class actions against homeopathic product companies;
* The application of Section 5 of the FTC Act to advertising claims for homeopathic products; and
* Public policy concerns about the current regulation of homeopathic products.