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FTC Hosts Workshop on Advertising of Homeopathic Products


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a public workshop on September 21, 2015 in Washington, D.C., to examine advertising for over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathic products.


According to the FTC, during the last few decades, the homeopathic drug industry in the United States has grown considerably from a multimillion-dollar to a multibillion-dollar market. In that time, the homeopathic drug market has shifted from one based primarily on formulations prescribed for an individual user to mass-market formulations widely advertised and sold nationwide in major retail stores.


Because of rapid growth in the marketing and consumer use of homeopathic products, the FTC is hosting a workshop to evaluate the advertising for such products. The workshop will bring together a variety of stakeholders, including medical professionals, industry representatives, consumer advocates and government regulators.


The FTC invites the public to submit research, recommendations for topics of discussion, and requests to participate as panelists. The workshop will cover topics including:

  • A look at changes in the homeopathic market, its advertising, and what consumers know;
  • The science behind homeopathy and its effectiveness;
  • The effects of recent class actions against homeopathic product companies;
  • The application of Section 5 of the FTC Act to advertising claims for homeopathic products; and
  • Public policy concerns about the current regulation of homeopathic products.

Public comments can be submitted electronically. Paper submissions should be sent to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Ste. CC-5610 (Annex B), Washington, D.C.  20580, or delivered to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th St., S.W., 5th Fl., Ste. 5610 (Annex B), Washington, D.C. 20024.

Paper submissions should reference the Homeopathic Medicine & Advertising Workshop both in the text and on the envelope. The deadline for submitting public comments is Friday, November 20, 2015.

The FTC also has set up an email box for anyone interested in being a panelist at the event or suggesting additional topics for discussion. It is homeopathy@ftc.gov, and will be open until August 1, 2015.

The workshop is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Constitution Center 400 7th St., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024. The Commission will publish a detailed agenda at a later date.

For more information, visit www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/2015/09/homeopathic-medicine-advertising.