Renewed Calls on Shoppers Drug Mart to Drop Ineffective Products After Legal Settlement

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Toronto, ON (March 9, 2012) – The Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism (CASS) renewed its call today for Shoppers Drug Mart to cease selling ineffective homeopathic products, after the homeopathic manufacturer Boiron agreed to a $12 million dollar settlement of class action lawsuits alleging false advertising.

Homeopathic products such as Boiron’s popular flu remedy oscillococcinum are diluted so much that it is extremely unlikely that they contain even a single molecule of their supposed active ingredients. The lawsuits in California and Illinois claimed that the remedies were ineffective. In its settlement, Boiron agreed to add a disclaimer to its products’ labels stating that their uses had not been evaluated by the FDA, along with an explanation of how the ingredients had been diluted.

In January, CASS sent an open letter to Shoppers Drug Mart (http://bit.ly/ApvOJq), calling on Canada’s largest pharmacy to stop selling homeopathic products. CASS argued that Shoppers was misleading customers by placing these ineffective remedies alongside proven cold remedies in its stores. Today, CASS renews that call. “This settlement shows that even Boiron recognizes that it is selling ineffective sugar pills as useful medicines ,” states Iain Martel, CASS chair and spokesperson. “It is grossly irresponsible for Shoppers Drug Mart to continue to market homeopathic remedies after these products have been shown to contain no active ingredient and to have no medicinal value.”

Shoppers Drug Mart has not replied to CASS’s letter.

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About Us: The Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism critically engages with scientific, technological and medical claims made in public discourse. We address factual inaccuracies and misinformation in public debates by promoting evidence-based science. CASS is a part of the Centre for Inquiry Canada (CFI). CFI is the leading freethought organization in Canada promoting reason, science, secularism and freedom of inquiry.

Contact:
Iain Martel, Co-Chair and Spokesperson
Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism
(416) 929-5075 cass@cficanada.