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CVS Health Glucosamine Products Deceptive Advertising Class Action

Do CVS’s joint health glucosamine products work? This class action says no. The complaint alleges that the primary ingredients, including glucosamine or glucosamine in combination with other substances, such as chondroitin sulfate or MSM, do not improve joint health, range of movement, stiffness, or other conditions. 

The complaint proposes three classes for this action:

  • The Multi-State Class is all persons in California and states with similar laws, who bought any CVS Health Glucosamine products for personal use, between January 19, 2016 and the date the notice for this case is distributed.
  • The California Senior Class is all senior citizens who bought, in California, any CVS Health Glucosamine products for personal use, between January 19, 2016 and the date the notice for this case is distributed.
  • A California-Only Class has also been proposed, for those who bought the products in California.

The products at issue in this case all have glucosamine as their main ingredient, and all contain the same amount of glucosamine (1,500 mg.):

  • CVS Health Glucosamine Chondroitin Tablets1
  • CVS Health Glucosamine Chondroitin Capsules2
  • CVS Health Glucosamine Maximum Strength Tablets3
  • CVS Health Glucosamine MSM Caplets4
  • CVS Health Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM Tablets5
  • CVS Health Glucosamine Chondroitin with Vitamin D Caplets6

CVS’s advertising and labeling of the products claim that the products variously support and promote “joint health,” “support[] healthy cartilage & joint comfort,” “support[] joint flexibility & mobility,” “support[] joint flexibility & mobility,” or “nourishes cartilage and promotes comfortable joint movement.” The front labels also include a picture of an older man and woman walking. 

It makes similar claims for the products on its website, such as that “Glucosamine and Chondroitin help support and maintain the structure of joints” or “helps support maximum flexibility, range of motion, and joint health.”

However, the complaint says that these representations are false, deceptive, and misleading.

According to the complaint, glucosamine and chondroitin have been studied “extensively” in randomized clinical trials (RCTs), “and the well-conducted RCTs demonstrate that glucosamine and chondroitin, alone or in combination, are not effective at producing joint health benefits” such as reductions in pain or stiffness, increased flexibility or range of motion, and cartilage benefits.

The complaint quotes what it calls the leading series of studies, the GAIT studies, which were funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The results of the two-year-long GAIT studies were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and they did not show that the two substances, either alone or in combination, were effective. Also, according to the complaint, four other studies and meta-analyses show that the substances do not work. 

The complaint claims that CVS violated California’s Unfair Competition Law, its Consumers Legal Remedies Act, and breached express warranties.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

CVS Health Glucosamine Products Deceptive Advertising Complaint

February 7, 2019

Do CVS’s joint health glucosamine products work? This class action says no. The complaint alleges that the primary ingredients, including glucosamine or glucosamine in combination with other substances, such as chondroitin sulfate or MSM, do not improve joint health, range of movement, stiffness, or other conditions. 

cvs_glucosamine_products_compl.pdf

Case Event History

CVS Health Glucosamine Products Deceptive Advertising Complaint

February 7, 2019

Do CVS’s joint health glucosamine products work? This class action says no. The complaint alleges that the primary ingredients, including glucosamine or glucosamine in combination with other substances, such as chondroitin sulfate or MSM, do not improve joint health, range of movement, stiffness, or other conditions. 

cvs_glucosamine_products_compl.pdf
Tags: Claims Unsupported By Scientific Evidence, Deceptive Advertising, Deceptive Labels, False Health Claims