FDA, FTC warn against fraudulent claims that OTC supplements treat STDs

June 15, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission are cracking down on fraudulent dietary supplements claiming to treat sexually transmitted diseases.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are cracking down down on fraudulent dietary supplements claiming to treat sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

In May the agencies sent joint warning letters to several manufacturers who claim that their products prevent, treat, or cure human papillomavirus (HPV), HIV, AIDS, herpes, and other STDs.

"No STD treatments should be available over the counter. They should be prescribed by a doctor," said Michael Levy, director of FDA's Division of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance.

"These diseases need to be detected appropriately and accurately. Not treating any of these can cause stricture of the urethra, cancer, and AIDS, and AIDS could eventually lead to death," said Jeffrey Engel, MD, state health director of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Manufacturers that were warned about their labels and claims include Pacific Naturals, Polydna, http://Viruxo.com/, Medavir Medical Advances Inc., Master Peace Inc., http://Immuneglory.com/, Derma Remedies, and http://Chlamydia-clinic.com/. Products include Herpeset, Wartrol, Medavir, Virabalm, H-Stop DX, and Herpaflor.

The agencies are particularly concerned about some of the claims about curing or treating STDs that the companies make on their websites. For example, a claim on Viruxo's website stated, "Viruxo Anti-Viral Support ... Never Have a Herpes Outbreak Again."

"Companies should take those claims down [from their websites] that are not substantiated, and report to us within 15 days the action they have taken," said Richard Cleland, assistant director of the Division of Advertising Practices, FTC. "Particularly in the provider world, questions need to be asked of patients about where they are getting their information and whether they are using these fraudulent products," Dr. Engel said.

Consumers and healthcare professionals can notify the FDA MedWatch program about any problems associated with the supplements by calling 800-FDA-1088.