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Greater Peoria Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, S.C. d.b.a. Joseph Health Group – 607197 – 08/10/2020

Product:
Drugs

Recipient:

Recipient Name

Dr. Daniel T. Joseph

Greater Peoria Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, S.C. d.b.a. Joseph Health Group

5001 N University St.
Peoria, IL 61614
United States

[email protected]

Date:     August 10, 2020

RE:        Unapproved and Misbranded Products Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This is to advise you that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reviewed your website at the Internet address: http://josephhealthgroup.com on April 22, 2020 and August 6, 2010, respectively. The FDA has observed that your website offers the products Basic Immune Support Kit, Enhanced Immune Support Kit, and Ultra Immune Support Kit for sale in the United States and that these products are intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people. Based on our review, these products are unapproved new drugs sold in violation of section 505(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. § 355(a). Furthermore, these products are misbranded drugs under section 502 of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. § 352. The introduction or delivery for introduction of these products into interstate commerce is prohibited under sections 301(a) and (d) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. § 331(a) and (d).

There is currently a global outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that has been named “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2). The disease caused by the virus has been named “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19). On January 31, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a declaration of a public health emergency related to COVID-19 and mobilized the Operating Divisions of HHS. In addition, on March 13, 2020, the President declared a national emergency in response to COVID-19. Therefore, FDA is taking urgent measures to protect consumers from certain products that, without approval or authorization by FDA, claim to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people. As described below, you sell products that are intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19 in people. We request that you take immediate action to cease the sale of such unapproved and unauthorized products for the mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-19.

Some examples of the claims on your website that establish the intended use of your products and misleadingly represent them as safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 include:

  • Under the heading  “IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM JOSEPH HEALTH GROUP CONCERNING COVID-19” on the same webpage where you sell your Basic Immune Support Kit, Enhanced Immune Support Kit, and Ultra Immune Support Kit (https://order.myimmunitykit.com/josephhealthgroup37598197): 
    • “We have put together a research-based … nutritional protocol that is designed to support your body’s response to viruses. ”
    • “This 30-DAY research-based protocol is a – 4-part immune supportive/antiviral strategy. 
       

Inhibit Viral Acquisition

Inhibit Viral Replication

Support Your Cell’s Systems

Provide Immuno-modulation

If you would like to put yourself and/or your family on this immune supportive and antiviral protocol … CLICK the link below to purchase and pay.”

    • “[ULTRA IMMUNE SUPPORT KIT] is designed for the patients who are at the highest risk for infection, disease, and death due to COVID-19.  If you suffer from chronic disease like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, immune-suppression, etc. then this kit is ideal.”

“[W]e have created these different supplements in these different kits, as we call them, that will give your body the greatest chance you can not to get the virus. But if you do get the virus, there’s properties in these supplements that will keep . . . the virus from replicating in your body, so if you get it, your symptoms might not be as severe. . . .  [T]hese supplements that we’re recommending, and they’re all researched . . . have those properties to keep it from self-replicating and destroying your body.  That’s all we’re trying to do, is lessen the destruction it may have on your body and keep it from entering your body. . . .  So scroll down below and you’ll be able to read a little bit more of what I’ve just described and you’ll also see the different kits.  I take the Ultra kit, but . . . these are all safe for everybody to take and they all have . . . the research behind it . . . .”

You should take immediate action to correct the violations cited in this letter.  This letter is not meant to be an all-inclusive list of violations that exist in connection with your products or operations.  It is your responsibility to ensure that the products you sell are in compliance with the FD&C Act and FDA’s implementing regulations. We advise you to review your websites, product labels, and other labeling and promotional materials to ensure that you are not misleadingly representing your products as safe and effective for a COVID-19-related use for which they have not been approved by FDA and that you do not make claims that misbrand the products in violation of the FD&C Act.  Within 48 hours, please send an email to [email protected] describing the specific steps you have taken to correct these violations.  Include an explanation of each step being taken to prevent the recurrence of violations, as well as copies of related documentation.  Failure to immediately correct the violations cited in this letter may result in legal action, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction.

FDA is advising consumers not to purchase or use certain products that have not been approved, cleared, or authorized by FDA and that are being misleadingly represented as safe and/or effective for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Your firm will be added to a published list on FDA’s website of firms and websites that have received warning letters from FDA concerning the sale or distribution of COVID-19 related products in violation of the FD&C Act. This list can be found at http://www.fda.gov/consumers/health-fraud-scams/fraudulent-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-products. Once you have taken corrective actions to cease the sale of your unapproved and unauthorized products for the mitigation, prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or cure of COVID-19, and such actions have been confirmed by the FDA, the published list will be updated to indicate that your firm has taken appropriate corrective action.

If you cannot complete corrective action within 48 hours, state the reason for the delay and the time within which you will complete the corrections. If you believe that your products are not in violation of the FD&C Act, include your reasoning and any supporting information for our consideration.

If you are not located in the United States, please note that products that appear to be misbranded or unapproved new drugs are subject to detention and refusal of admission if they are offered for importation into the United States. We may advise the appropriate regulatory officials in the country from which you operate that FDA considers your products referenced above to be unapproved and misbranded products that cannot be legally sold to consumers in the United States. 

Please direct any inquiries to FDA at [email protected].

In addition, it is unlawful under the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 41 et seq., to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless you possess competent and reliable scientific evidence, including, when appropriate, well-controlled human clinical studies, substantiating that the claims are true at the time they are made.  For COVID-19, no such study is currently known to exist for the products identified above.  Thus, any coronavirus-related prevention or treatment claims regarding such products are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.  You must immediately cease making all such claims.  Violations of the FTC Act may result in legal action seeking a Federal District Court injunction and an order may require that you pay back money to consumers. Within 48 hours, please send an email to Richard Cleland, Assistant Director of the FTC’s Division of Advertising Practices, via electronic mail at [email protected] describing the specific actions you have taken to address the FTC’s concerns. If you have any questions regarding compliance with the FTC Act, please contact Mr. Cleland at 202-326-3088.                                          

Sincerely,

/S/

William A. Correll
Director
Office of Compliance
Center for Food Safety
    and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration

 

Sincerely,

/S/                                        

Serena Viswanathan
Acting Associate Director
Division of Advertising Practices 
Federal Trade Commission