Educational Consumer Tips

Medical "Miracle" Cures

Author: Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau 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 uses 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. 

The BBB also recommends consumers exercise caution when purchasing items from an Online Retailer of Medical Products:

-Confirm that the online retailer is an authorized seller for the items you are considering purchasing.
-Be certain to confirm the Online Retailer’s return policy and become familiar with that company’s online Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
-If you have questions about a particular product, questions should be directed to the manufacturer of the product.

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.

For more information, contact: 

Better Business Bureau
100 Bryant Woods South, Amherst, NY 14228
(800) 828-5000

This report is general in nature and is not intended as a Business Review on any company, service or product.