We’ve warned people for years not to trust the wild health claims that some companies make about their pills, powders, and potions. Call us old fashioned, but we almost fell off our stool when we heard about a company that ginned up some health claims for “cocktails” that go through the arm and not down the hatch. What are we talking about? We know you’re on pins and needles, so let’s get to it.
The FTC just announced a case against a company, doing business as iV Bars, that offered customers the chance to sample its “intravenous cocktails” for $100 or more a pop. According to the complaint, the company said — without adequate proof – that some of these cocktails could treat diseases like cancer, congestive heart failure, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. The company even said its cocktails were sometimes more effective than conventional medical treatments. What’s more, the company claimed that the health benefits were backed by science and that it ran something called the “iV Bars Research Labs.” No they weren’t and no it didn’t, says the FTC. No science and no labs were behind those bars, even though the company’s website used pictures of people in white lab coats looking at test tubes and through microscopes. The complaint also notes that taking these iV treatments comes with safety risks and possible side effects. Now, the company will be prohibited from making false and unsupported health claims and has to send a notice to customers that its cocktails aren’t scientifically proven to treat any disease.
Before you belly up to a bar serving cocktails with an iV drip, and before buying any product advertised to prevent or treat a medical problem, here are some tips:
1. Talk first to your health professional, who is, bar none, the best source of help and information.
2. Don’t stop taking medicine or any other treatment prescribed by qualified health professionals without consulting them first.
3. Don’t get drunk on the possibilities in sales pitches for health-related products. Even when the word “science” is thrown around by serious-looking people in lab coats.