New Medical "Miracles" Not so Miraculous


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The prices for prescription drugs are at an all time high and consumers are scrambling to find cheaper alternatives. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to steer clear of "too good to be true" advertisements for miracle drugs and treatments. These ads which feature exotic potions and pills, special curative diets, or "newly discovered" treatments, contain questionable claims about the effectiveness and safety of these products or services.

Misleading offers for products and treatments for such illnesses as heart disease, cancer, AIDS, diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and other medical conditions could be costly. You could lose your money and increase your health risk, especially if you delay or forego proper medical treatment. Consumers should consult their doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional, or public health organizations before purchasing any product or treatment.

How can you tell if an advertising claim for a "miracle" health-related product is likely to be phony, exaggerated, or unproven? The BBB, along with the Federal Trade Commission suggests you use caution if:

  • The product or treatment is advertised as a quick and effective cure-all for a wide range of ailments or for an undiagnosed pain.
  • The promoter use key words, such as "scientific breakthrough," miraculous cure," "exclusive product," "secret formula," or "ancient ingredient."
  • The promoter claims the medical profession or research scientists have conspired to suppress the product.
  • The advertisement includes undocumented case histories claiming amazing results.
  • The product is advertised as available from only one source for a limited time, and payment is required in advance.

Don't rely on promises of a no-risk "money-back guarantee." Be aware that many fly-by-night operators are not around to respond to your request for a refund.

If you have a complaint about a supposed medical product or service, contact your Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission.

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