False Treatment Claims Still A COVID-19 Symptom: FTC Files Complaint Against California Firm
FTC files complaint alleging Precision Patient Outcomes marketed a supplement as a treatment to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 after agency let the firm know it considered the claims false advertising.
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There is strong support for a bipartisan fix to discourage marketplace fraud and anticompetitive practices and enable consumer redress under the FTC Act. But Congress is distracted and deeply divided with different ideas about how extensive the FTC’s authorities should be under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act.
While types of unsupported claims were no different than those advertisers made when US was hit it by other widespread health emergencies, digital capabilities made advertisers’ response to COVID-19 different, says Rich Cleland, FTC Consumer Protection Bureau attorney.
Justice Breyer suggests FTC ask Congress to strengthen its enforcement rules. It is “free to ask Congress to grant it further remedial authority,” according to court opinion stating a rule the FTC has wielded for forty years to impose financial penalties doesn’t grant it authority to obtain equitable monetary relief.