Office of Public Affairs
Bureau of Consumer Protection
FTC Tells Consumers They May Be Due a Refund If They Purchased Walgreens’ “Wal-Born” Cold and Flu Supplements
Washington, DC, November 01, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — If you purchased “Wal-Born” – a Walgreens’ brand dietary supplement, the Federal Trade Commission wants you to know that you may be eligible for a refund.
National pharmacy chain Walgreens agreed to pay nearly $6 million in 2010, to settle FTC charges that it deceptively advertised that its “Wal-Born” line could effectively prevent colds, fight germs, and boost the immune system. The money will be used to provide refunds.
Walgreens sold the supplements under its store name, and touted their similarity to supplements sold by Airborne Health, Inc., which settled similar deceptive advertising charges by the FTC in 2008. According to the FTC’s complaint, Walgreens advertised its Wal-Born supplements online, in newspaper circulars nationwide, and on packaging.
The FTC settlement with Walgreens bars the company from claiming that its products prevent or treat cold or flu symptoms, or protect against cold and flu viruses by boosting the immune system, unless there is scientific evidence to back up these claims.
Consumers who bought “Wal-Born” supplements between December 1, 2004 and March 29, 2010 can submit a claim for a refund. Some advertisements announcing the refund have incorrectly stated that consumers had to have purchased the supplements by June 30, 2009. Consumers are eligible to receive up to $5 for each product purchased, for a total of six products or up to $30. The deadline to file a claim is February 4, 2013, and checks will be mailed no later than April 2013. For more information about the refund program, call 1-800-598-3025, or visit www.ftc.gov/Walgreens.
Consumers should carefully evaluate advertising claims for vitamins and other dietary supplements. For more information see: Who Cares: Dietary Supplements.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.