WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Jan. 9 that they have charged the marketers of dietary supplement Prevagen with making false and unsubstantiated claims about the product’s ability to improve memory.
“The marketers of Prevagen preyed on the fears of older consumers experiencing age-related memory loss,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “But one critical thing these marketers forgot is that their claims need to be backed up by real scientific evidence.”
Corporate defendants in the case are Quincy Bioscience Holding Co. Inc.; Quincy Bioscience LLC; Prevagen Inc., doing business as Sugar River Supplements; and Quincy Bioscience Manufacturing LLC. The agencies also charged CEO Michael Beaman and President Mark Underwood. Both of these individuals appeared in infomercials for the Prevagen product.
The defendants allegedly ran an extensive national advertising campaign for Prevagen, including TV spots on national broadcast and cable networks such as CNN, Fox News and NBC. According to the FTC and New York, the ads claimed that the product would improve memory and provide cognitive benefits and that it is “clinically” shown to work. The defendants, however, purportedly relied on a study that failed to show Prevagen works better than a placebo on any measure of cognitive function.
“The marketing for Prevagen is a clear-cut fraud, from the label on the bottle to the ads airing across the country,” Schneiderman said. “It’s particularly unacceptable that this company has targeted vulnerable citizens like seniors in its advertising for a product that costs more than a week’s groceries, but provides none of the health benefits that it claims.”
The FTC seeks refunds for consumers who purchased the product.