FTC Sues Medical Clinic and its Owner for False or Unsubstantiated Claims its Treatment Could Cure Addiction and Other Diseases

The Federal Trade Commission took action below the Opioid Dependancy Restoration Fraud Avoidance Act (OARFPA), suing Dr. Dalal A. Akoury and a established of companies she controls that operate as AWAREmed Wellbeing & Wellness Useful resource Centre, a clinical clinic, for earning a broad vary of fake or unsupported claims for habit therapy services, most cancers remedy companies, and the procedure of other really serious circumstances. The Office of Justice filed the scenario on the FTC’s behalf.

AwareMed Ad

The proposed order settling the Commission’s criticism bars Dr. Akoury and her AWAREmed clinic from building this sort of unsupported promises and needs her to shell out a $100,000 civil penalty.

“The opioid crisis promises life and destroys communities all throughout the United States but specially in rural spots,” claimed Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Buyer Protection. “Doctors peddling phony promises ought to know that the FTC will use its strengthened authority from Congress to cease them from exploiting Us residents battling with dependancy.”

Dr. Akoury’s AWAREmed clinic is primarily based in Johnson Metropolis, Tennessee, and previously was found in Myrtle Seashore, South Carolina. Since at minimum 2018, the complaint states, the AWAREmed defendants have advertised a array of remedies for sufferers struggling from addiction which includes substance use ailments from opioids to alcohol. Other deceptive treatment method advertisements for cancer and serious illnesses like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s sickness.

In their advertisements, the defendants explained their clinic as the “Most Productive Health care Clinic Anywhere,” and claimed that it “Boasts a 98{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0} Advancement Rate…Treating Just About…Anything,” which include addictions to methadone and other drugs, alcohol, food items, and gambling. Despite becoming warned by the FTC that producing unsupported addiction treatment method statements is illegal, the defendants ongoing to claim without proof that their therapy was “rapid, pain-free, productive, and safe and sound,” and experienced far better results in fewer time than 30-working day treatment plans.

The defendants also utilised their web-site to market their most cancers treatments, proclaiming that clients would working experience “exceptional results,” and that just about all individuals at any illness phase would boost reasonably to drastically just after treatment method at the AWAREmed clinic. In comparable advertisements, the defendants recurring their claims of near-common results for long-term disorders these kinds of as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Lastly, the FTC alleges that in 2017 and 2018, Dr. Akoury appeared in practically 100 transient Television set segments hosted by reporters with Fox News’s Myrtle Beach front affiliate, endorsing AWAREmed in what appeared to be news interviews. It was under no circumstances disclosed, even so, that some of these appearances were being really compensated advertisements placed by Dr. Akoury.

In addition to barring the defendants from violating the FTC Act and OARFPA, the proposed court docket order prohibits them from building the deceptive well being claims alleged in the criticism, calls for them to have competent and dependable scientific evidence for any wellness-connected promises they make in promotion and marketing, and prohibits them from formatting advertisements in a way that might be interpreted as information or informational programing. It also necessitates them to pay a $100,000 civil penalty.

The Fee vote authorizing the workers to file the criticism and proposed purchase was 4-. The DOJ filed the grievance and order on behalf of the FTC in the U.S. District Courtroom for the Jap District of Tennessee.