Supplement Maker Must Stop Claiming “Elimidrol” Can Relieve Opiate Withdrawal

Last year, Sunrise Nutraceuticals was one of more than 100 supplement companies sued by the Federal Trade Commission for allegedly making unfounded health or disease-treatment claims. To settle that suit, Sunrise has agreed to suspend allegedly false claims that its Elimidrol dietary supplement can alleviate the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that Florida-based Sunrise Nutraceticals is barred from making claims about health-related products without competent and reliable scientific evidence, and must pay $235,000 to resolve accusations it used false and misleading claims to shill the supplement Elimidrol.

According to the FTC’s complaint [PDF] filed in November 2015, Sunrise Nutraceuticals used unsubstantiated claims to sell 8-ounce bottles of Elimidrol — a “proprietary blend” of powder containing vitamins, minerals, and herbs — for $75.

Ads for the product claim it could alleviate opiate withdrawal symptoms to enable consumers to overcome withdrawal, increasing their likelihood of overcoming opiate addiction.

The company ran ads on the internet to target opiate-dependent consumers with claims that Elimidrol has a “high success rate… in overcoming opiate withdrawal” and “turns up the chances of a successful recovery.”

The advertisements claimed that Elimidrol would help users “permanently overcome withdrawal – the first time” and “leave addiction behind permanently.”

Additionally, the company claimed that the supplement “is the difference between just another failed attempted and lifelong success.”

The company also allegedly promoted Elimidrol with deceptive testimonials from opiate-dependent customers. In one case, the FTC cites a narrative that states: “I was introduced to Elimidrol and it saved my life. This is not an exaggeration, it SAVED my life.”

The testimony goes on to say that the user “noticed within 30 minutes of the first dose that I was actually feeling pretty comfortable and I had a new sense of ‘clarity’ in me.”

According to the order [PDF] resolving the complaint, Sunrise and its operators are prohibited from making claims regarding the treatment of opiate dependence, addiction, or withdrawal, unless they have competent and reliable human clinical testing to support such claims.

In order to make claims about products in the future, the company must have reliable testing and competent scientific evidence to support claims that a product works.

The settlement also imposes a $1,398,037 judgement, of this all by $235,000 is suspended based on the defendants’ ability to pay. If the company is later found to have misrepresented their financial condition, the entire judgment will become due.

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