The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a policy statement explaining that the agency will hold efficacy and safety claims for over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathic drugs to the same standard as claims for other OTC drugs. This means homeopathic OTC products will need to back up claims with “competent and reliable scientific evidence” for health-related claims, or else use certain FDA-approved disclaimers.
Here are some examples of acceptable disclaimers, as noted in the FTC’s policy statement: “There is no scientific evidence that the product works,” or “The product’s claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700s that are not accepted by most modern medical experts.”
We’ve been expecting this attack on homeopathy for some time. Last year, the FTC held a workshop to discuss the advertising of OTC homeopathic formulations. The FDA also held a public hearing to evaluate enforcement policies for homeopathic drugs.