Class Action Alleges Sanofi Misrepresents Aspercreme Patch Efficacy

An individual filed a class-action complaint against Sanofi US Corporation on Saturday in the Northern District of Illinois over allegations that the company misled consumers on the efficacy of its Aspercreme patch product.

In the complaint, lead plaintiff Sherry Cruz claimed that Sanofi’s over-the-counter (OTC) Aspercreme patches, which contain 4% of active ingredient lidocaine, made false promises regarding its effectiveness, strength, and speed at which it provides pain relief. The complaint noted various terms used on the product’s label, such as “max strength,” “fast acting,” and “numbs away pain” as well as the claim that one patch is effective for up to 12 hours, arguing that all of these purported benefits of the product are unsubstantiated.

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the “max strength” moniker “implies the Product contains and delivers the maximum amount of lidocaine in patch form to the affected area,” which, according to the plaintiff, is not the case. Similarly, the marker of “fast acting” implies that the pain relief is immediate, when it is not, the complaint argued, nor does it endure for up to 12 hours. The pain-numbing claim, according to the complaint, falsely represents that the patch “completely blocks pain receptors, eliminates responses to painful stimuli and provides a numbing sensation,” as the Food and Drug Administration has determined that topical analgesic products do not have the ability to block pain receptors.

The complaint detailed various other representations made by the product that the plaintiff believes are fraudulent, arguing that such misrepresentations harm consumers.

“Reasonable consumers must and do rely on Defendant to honestly describe the components and features of the Product, relative to itself and other comparable products,” the complaint said. “Defendant misrepresented the Product through affirmative statements, half-truths, and omissions.”

Because of these alleged misrepresentations, the plaintiff argued that the class members were overcharged for the product and would not have paid as much for it, or would not have bought it in the first place, if they knew about the purported omissions.

The plaintiff is seeking class certification, injunctive relief to compel the defendant to cease its alleged conduct, and monetary and statutory damages, among other relief.

Sheehan & Associates P.C. represents the plaintiff and proposed class.