MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Sobrenix (Kudzu, Milk Thistle, B Vitamins & More) is “designed to reduce alcohol cravings and help you detoxify your body so you can successfully manage alcohol consumption. Even better, taken before drinking, Sobrenix’s ingredients help you stop before you’ve had too much. DETOXIFY YOUR BODY with a powerful formula that combines herbs and nutrients that support liver health, curb cravings, and help you wake up without a nasty hangover. Sobrenix kick-starts the detoxification process with essential herbs like Milk Thistle and Chanca Piedra. Additionally, the formula contains the critical B-Vitamins that alcohol washes away so you can wake up happy and healthy again!”

Yes, you suspected correctly: this is pure BS!

Not only that but the Federal Trade Commission is taking action under the FTC Act and the Opioid Addiction Recovery Fraud Prevention Act of 2018 (OARFPA) against the makers of Sobrenix. According to the FTC’s complaint, the makers, a company, Rejuvica, and its owners, Kyle Armstrong and Kyle Dilger, made numerous unsubstantiated and false claims about Sobrenix and used paid endorsers in deceptively formatted advertising. The defendants also used bogus review sites to deceive consumers about their products.

As a result of the FTC’s suit, the defendants have agreed to a proposed court order that would permanently ban them from making any unsubstantiated claims about healthcare products or services, as well as require them to pay $650,000 to the FTC to be used for providing refunds to consumers.

“We will not tire in our pursuit of those who prey on individuals struggling with alcohol or other substance use disorders,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This case evidences the breadth of the FTC’s authority to pursue such wrongdoing under both the FTC Act and OARFPA.”

The FTC charges that the defendants marketed Sobrenix with messages like:

  • “STRUGGLING TO CONTROL YOUR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION? Sobrenix is designed to reduce alcohol cravings and help you detoxify your body so you can successfully manage alcohol consumption. Even better, taken before drinking, Sobrenix’s ingredients help you stop before you’ve had too much.”

The FTC charges that Rejuvica and its owners lacked adequate evidence to support these claims. The complaint charges that Rejuvica, Armstrong, and Dilger violated both the FTC Act and OARFPA. The proposed order contains a total monetary judgment of $3,247,737, which is partially suspended based on the defendants’ inability to pay the full amount. The defendants will be required to pay $650,000 to the FTC to be used to refund consumers. If the defendants are found to have lied to the FTC about their financial status, the full judgment will be immediately due.

______________________________

A few short comments might be in order:

  1. Regulators have the duty to protect consumers from false health claims.
  2. It is commendable that some authorities sometimes do their duty and go after some of the people responsible for making false claims related to dietary supplements.
  3. Such actions should, however, occur MUCH more often.
  4. They ought to happen also in countries other than the US.
  5. Similar actions should be initiated against ALL false claims made for healthcare products and services.
  6. This means that all practitioners of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) would need to review their advertising, websites, etc., and erase therapeutic claims that are not supported by evidence.
  7. This would unquestionably amount to an enormously valuable service to public health.
  8. Most countries already have legislation that would make such steps possible; my question, therefore, is this:

WHY ARE CONSUMERS NOT ADEQUATELY PROTECTED BY THEIR NATIONAL REGULATORS FROM CHARLATANS WHO SELL INEFFECTIVE AND OFTEN DANGEROUS SCAMs AT HIGH COSTS?

 

 

 

 

9 Responses to Important Legal Case Against ‘Sobrenix’, A Supplement For Alleviating Alcohol Cravings

  • Let’s hope that at least these fines have a sobering effect – on the SCAM industry, that is.

  • The UK government is not keen on effective regulation. It doesn’t fit their libertarian dogma. Hence all the statutory regulators are under-funded and thus weak. Government prefers voluntary regulation, which is of course useless.

  • 6. This means that all practitioners of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) would need to review their advertising, websites, etc., and erase therapeutic claims that are not supported by evidence. [my bolding]

    We witness in the comments on Edzard’s blog various quacks stumping up as ‘evidence’ such things as:
    • pilot studies;
    • old trials that have never been replicated;
    • withdrawn systematic reviews;
    • cherry-picked out‑of‑date versions of systematic reviews (e.g. here).

    Does this constitute adequate evidence to support the vending of health-related products and services; or should we demand much better?

    What is (and what isn’t) clinical evidence, and why is the distinction important?
    https://edzardernst.com/2012/11/what-is-and-what-isnt-clinical-evidence-and-why-is-the-distinction-important/

    • yes, opinion, experience, flimsy studies, etc. are not evidence – in SCAM they seem to be the stuff that is digested into BS.

      • @Edzard

        yes, opinion, experience, flimsy studies, etc. are not evidence – in SCAM they seem to be the stuff that is digested into BS.

        Well, it’s all they have, so that’s what they call ‘convincing evidence’ – even though this ‘evidence’ doesn’t even come close to what studies in regular medicine produce.

        Which brings me to my second point: how SCAMmers don’t just use two measures when judging the efficacy of SCAM vs. real medicine, but are in fact the most extreme hypocrites thinkable: for their treasured SCAM, even the tiniest smidgen of an imagined effect is already sufficient ‘scientific evidence’, yet when it comes to e.g. vaccines (or anything else that does not fit in their world view), then all of a sudden the huge existing body of evidence for both safety and efficacy is rejected, and replaced with demands for a standard of evidence that is utterly insane.

    • I like the Q&A format Pete. Maybe we should do this more often to counter the absolute crap that gets dug out of internet sewers and posted here, often by quacks and their groupies.

      Are personal experiences, delusions, and anecdotes of your acquaintances adequate evidence in favor of changing public health recommendations? For example, this schmuck thinks that anecdotes are sufficient evidence and governments should change their recommendations and base them his delusions and anecdotes.

      • Talker,

        Commentator DavidB reminded us on Friday 28 July 2023 at 22:25 of the “Five Ws” (and one H) that were memorialized in a poem by Rudyard Kipling in 1902.

        Perhaps it would achieve more if we attempt to shift away from answering questions — especially the questions posed by those who are just asking questions (also known as JAQing off) — to asking the fundamental questions of inquiry and enquiry.

        The Five Ws (sometimes referred to as Five Ws and How, 5W1H, or Six Ws) are questions whose answers are considered basic in information gathering or problem solving.

        They are often mentioned in journalism (cf. news style), research, and police investigations. According to the principle of the Five Ws, a report can only be considered complete if it answers these questions starting with an interrogative word:

        • Who
        • What
        • When
        • Where
        • Why
        Some others commonly add how to the list.

        Each question should have a factual answer—facts necessary to include for a report to be considered complete. Importantly, none of these questions can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.

        In the United Kingdom (excluding Scotland), the Five Ws are used in Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 lessons (ages 7–14).

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Ws

        Further reading:
        How to Change a Conspiracy Theorist’s Mind
        by Brian Dunning (July 4, 2023), Skeptoid
        https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4891

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