Cold and flu season is with us again, and so are the plethora of pharmacy products touting relief. But according to the Federal Trade Commission, some are not all they’re advertised to be.
If you purchased “Wal-Born” – a Walgreens’ brand dietary supplement – the Federal Trade Commission wants you to know that you may be eligible for a refund.
According to the FTC website, national pharmacy chain Walgreens has agreed to pay nearly $6 million to settle charges that it deceptively advertised the ability of its “Wal-Born” line to prevent colds, fight germs, and boost the immune system. The Wal-Born supplements were touted to be similar to those produced by Airborne Health, Inc., which settled similar deceptive advertising charges by the FTC in 2008.
The FTC settlement with Walgreens bars the company from claiming that its products prevent or treat cold or flu symptoms, or protect against cold and flu viruses by boosting the immune system, unless there is scientific evidence to back up these claims.
If you bought “Wal-Born” supplements between Dec, 1, 2004 and March 29, 2010, you can submit a claim for a refund by calling (800) 598-3025, or go to www.ftc.gov/Walgreens.
You’ll be eligible to receive up to $5 for each product purchased for a total of six products or up to $30. The deadline to file a claim is Feb. 4, 2013.
When purchasing “dietary supplements” like cold remedies or prevention products, remember:
• Dietary supplements do not have to go through the same FDA review for quality, safety, and effectiveness that prescription medication does.
• Just because a supplement is “natural” does not mean it’s harmless or safe.
• Some supplements can affect how well your prescription medication works.
• Always talk to your doctor before beginning a dietary supplement.
To learn more about choosing a dietary supplement, read the FTC information Who Cares: Dietary Supplements.
For more info or to report scams: Visit the BBB website at www.bbb.org. Call (509)455-4200 or (800) 356-1007.
Holly Doering, BBB Editor