FTC Announces New Business Guidance for Marketing of Health Products

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced new compliance guidelines for sellers of health products. The changes are the first revision in 25 years.

While the document does not have the force of law, it is designed to “help advertisers comply with the basic tenets of FTC law.”

Under the new guidance, guidelines applying to the marketing of dietary supplements will now apply to “all health-related products.” The updated guidance also reemphasizes the FTC’s expectation for “high quality randomized, controlled human clinical trials” when marketers make medical claims about their products.

The new guidance recounts that “Since 1998, the FTC has settled or adjudicated more than 200 cases involving false or misleading advertising claims about the benefits or safety of dietary supplements or other health-related products, including foods, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, homeopathic products, health equipment, diagnostic tests, and health-related apps.” The updated recommendations draw on those cases for new examples to be followed by marketers and sellers of medical goods.