Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Curing the common cold 1 Million at a time

Surprise! Yet another drug product that doesn't do what it is advertised to do.  Last week, the makers of Airborne settled a false advertising lawsuit for $23.3 million.  Before you blame the lawyers and start adding this to your stories in the now infamous McDonald's burn case category, you should know that the Airborne company had projected sales of $300 million for its most recently concluded fiscal year.  

Think about that for a minute... $300 MILLION dollars of sales.  That's a lot of people buying this stuff.  Personally, I find it all fascinating:  the same forces that cured polio and made progress staving off full-blown AIDS have yet to figure out a way to combat the common cold, but wait...  It's a TEACHER who suddenly cracked the code with a mix of vitamin C and zinc.  Lovely. 

Not as brilliant, however, as the marketing plan behind this genius product. Airborne even made "Oprah" and "Live With Regis and Kelly."  Airborne then changed its advertising campaign when a plaintiff filed suit against the company in March, 2006.  ABC news then disclosed a report that the company's clinical trials were not conducted by doctors or scientists, but rather they were carried out by two laypeople. Ya can't make this stuff up.  

But because Airborne is classified as a "supplement" rather than a "drug", it can be sold without first being proven effective.  Have fun shopping at GNC everyone. Let me know how that works out for ya. 

Post Script:  Tamiflu- a Roche prescription drug that has been proven effective at treating the flu, will carry a new warning.  The new warning notes that there have been problems related to this drug that have proven FATAL.  

Here's my advice:   don't get sick. 


Explosive Bombchelle said...

Whether it works or it's in my head, I swear by Airbourne before a flight. It probably has just as much to do with combating in-flight dehydration as the boost of vitamins and minerals.

I do routinely use Nasal Saline, Emergen C and Zicam during the winter. Besides a bout with walking pneumonia in December which was my fault I have had a relatively good winter (knock on wood!).

AttorneyMedic said...

I don't know what's worse: being sick in the winter, or being sick in the summer.