For immediate release Contact: Noelle Talley
Date: June 14, 2006 Phone: 919/716-6413
Raleigh: A company that used advertisements labeled as medical recall notices to pitch an unproven drug will stop selling the product and pay refunds to consumers, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
“This company used misleading ads to try to scare people into buying its questionable product,” Cooper said. “We’ve put a stop to this unfair sales pitch and won an opportunity for consumers to get their money back.”
Under a settlement reached by Cooper and attorneys general from 17 other states, Gateway Distributors Ltd. of Las Vegas, Nevada, which does business as The Right Solution, must stop selling drug products as a cure for illness or disease unless they are first approved by the Food and Drug Administration and must stop making claims about its products that are not backed by science.
According to Cooper and the other attorneys general, Gateway mailed out advertisements for its yam cream in envelopes labeled “Drug Recall Warning.” These mailings falsely claimed that prescription hormone treatments had been recalled and could cause cancer, telling consumers to instead use YMotion Yam Cream. Gateway asserted that its YMotion Yam Cream was safe and effective, could replace other hormone therapy treatments, restore bone loss, and cure depression. However the drug has not been approved by the FDA and the company offered no proof or research to support its claims about YMotion Yam Cream.
Under today’s settlement, the company can no longer cloak its ads as medical notices, cannot sell a drug as a treatment for illness unless it has been approved by the FDA, and cannot make unsupported claims about the health benefits of its products. Gateway must also provide refunds to consumers who previously purchased the YMotion Yam Cream. Eligible consumers can contact Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM to claim their refund. Consumers must file a written claim with the office by November 28, 2006. In addition, Gateway will pay a civil penalty of $100,000 that will be divided evenly among the participating states.
Joining North Carolina in the settlement are Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
“It’s always wise to check with a health care professional before you buy anything that claims to replace a legitimate medicine,” Cooper said. “You can also check up on the company that’s pitching the product by calling my Consumer Protection Division.”