Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

Opiate Freedom Center 1/11/18

 

  

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DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH 
AND HUMAN SERVICES
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION
SILVER SPRING, MD 20993 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION
BUREAU OF CONSUMER PROTECTION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20580 

WARNING LETTER

VIA OVERNIGHT DELIVERY
RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

January 11, 2018

Opiate Freedom Center
Attn: Reilly Johnson
PO Box 2143
Eagle, ID 83616

RE: 542687
 

Dear Mr. Johnson:

This is to advise you that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed your website at the Internet address, www.opiate-freedom-center.com, in December 2017 and has determined that you take orders there for the product ''Opiate Freedom 5-Pack." FDA also reviewed your social media website at www.facebook.com/pg/OpiatefreedomCenter. The claims on your websites establish that this product is a drug under section 201(g)(1)(8) of the Federal Food,Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. 321 (g)(l)(B)] because it is intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. As explained further below, introducing or delivering this product for introduction into interstate commerce for such uses violates the Act. You may find the Act and FDA regulations through links on FDA's home page at www.fda.gov. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has reviewed your marketing claims for "Opiate Freedom 5-Pack" for potential violations of Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C §§ 45(a) and 52.

Examples of some of the website claims that provide evidence that your product is intended for use as a drug include:

On your www.opiate-freedom-center.com website:

On the webpage titled, "About The Opiate Freedom Center," under the heading "The Truth About Addiction & Recovery":

• The Webpage Title

• "Our mission is simple - we want to help people of all ages, from all places, achieve their fullest potential, by bringing into the world the best and newest tools and information to support withdrawal relief, effective detox, and lasting recovery from addiction."

• "My goal is to provide you as much ''tried and tested" information to help you eliminate withdrawals and end addiction once and for all."

On the webpage titled, "The OFC Freedom 5-Pack," in the description for "The Freedom 5-Pack (30 Day Supply):

• "The #1 Supplement System for Safe & Natural Nutrient Replenishment At Home ... Made for Opiate Withdrawals"

On the webpage titled, ''Withdrawal Relief," under the heading, "Natural Supplements for Withdrawal Symptom Relief":

• The Webpage Title

• "Safe and effective natural supplements that work to ease many physical symptoms of opiate withdrawal."

On the webpage titled, "4 Best Supplements for Fast Opioid Withdrawal Relief," under the heading, "The Top Safe & Natural Supplements for Opioid/Heroin/Narcotic Withdrawal Symptoms":

• The Webpage Title

• "Introducing the best NATURAL opioid withdrawal relief supplements'·

Additionally, your website contains evidence of intended use in the form of personal testimonials recommending or describing the use of Opiate Freedom 5-Pack for the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. Examples of such testimonials include:

• "I purchased for my son who is working on his freedom plan from the the world of addition. So far will the product has worked only one in and going for round two with the products ...."

Also, your Facebook account, accessible at www.facebook.com/pg/OpiateFreedomCenter, which links to your website, www.opiate-freedom-center.com, where your product can be purchased directly, provides further evidence that your product is intended for use as a drug by posting the following claim on February 7, 2017: 

• "Here's whats [sic] everyone is talking about ... 5 natural supplement designed to ease withdrawals and shorten detox after recovery from opiate addiction. Check us out if you're looking for a natural and effective solution to your lasting recovery from prescription drugs. Click below to learn more ... "

Your product "Opiate Freedom 5-Pack" is not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced uses and, therefore, this product is a "new drug" under section 201(p) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 321(p)). New drugs may not be legally introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce without prior approval from the FDA, as described in sections 301(d) and 505(a) of the Act [21 U.S.C. §§ 331(d), 355(a)). FDA approves a new drug on the basis of scientific data and information demonstrating that the dtug is safe and effective.

A drug is misbranded under section 502(f)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 352(f)(1)] if the drug fails to bear adequate directions for its intended use(s). "Adequate directions for use" means directions under which a layperson can use a drug safely and for the purposes for which it is intended (21 CFR 201.5). Prescription drugs, as defined in section 503(b)(1)(A) of the Act [21 U.S.C. 353(b)(1)(A)], can only be used safely at the direction, and under the supervision, of a licensed practitioner.

Your product "Opiate Freedom 5-Pack" is intended for treatment of one or more diseases that are not amenable to self-diagnosis or treatment without the supervision of a licensed practitioner. Therefore, it is impossible to write adequate directions for a layperson to use your product safely for its intended purposes. Accordingly, ''Opiate Freedom 5-Pack" fails to bear adequate directions for its intended uses and, therefore, the product is misbranded under section 502(f)(1) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 352(f)(1)). The introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of this misbranded drug violates section 301(a) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 331(a)].

The violations cited in this letter are not intended to be an all-inclusive list of violations that exist in connection with your product. You are responsible for investigating and determining the causes of the violations identified above and for preventing their recurrence or the occurrence of other violations. It is your responsibility to ensure that all products marketed by your firm comply with the Act and its implementing regulations.

You should take prompt action to correct the violations cited in this letter. Failure to promptly correct these violations may result in legal action without further notice, including, without limitation, seizure and/or injunction.

Unsubstantiated Advertising

In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has reviewed marketing claims related to opiate withdrawal and/or opiate addiction for "Opiate Freedom 5-Pack." The FTC Act requires that health-related claims, such as claims that a product will treat or cure a disease or other health
condition, must be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence at the time the claims are made. In other words, it is against the law to make health claims, whether directly or indirectly, through advertising, the use of a product name, website name, or any other means, without adequate scientific support, or to exaggerate the benefits of products or services you are promoting. Violations of the FTC Act may result in legal action in the form of a Federal District Court Injunction or an Administrative Order and may require that you pay money back to consumers.

Given the claims you are making, you should be aware of two FTC law enforcement actions challenging unsupported claims for the treatment of opiate addiction and/or opiate withdrawal symptoms: FTC v. Sunrise Nutraceuticals, LLC, which involved the product Elimidrol, and FTC v. Catlin Enterprises. Inc., which involved the products Withdrawal Ease and Recovery Ease. The complaints and orders in those cases can be found at https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/152-3208-x160006/sunrise-nutraceuticals-llc and https://ftc.gov/enforcement/cases-proceedings/1623204/catlin-entcrprisecs-inc. The orders entered in both cases imposed monetary judgments and required the defendants to stop making deceptive claims.

The FTC strongly urges you to review all health-related claims that you and any of your affiliates are making in any medium. Competent and reliable scientific evidence for a product claiming to treat opiate withdrawal symptoms or opiate addiction consists of randomized, controlled, human clinical testing of that product. If any of your claims are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence, you should delete or revise them immediately.

With regard to the advertising claims discussed above, please notify Mamie Kresses of the FTC via electronic mail at mkresscs@ftc.gov, within fifteen working days ofreceipt of this letter, of the specific actions you have taken to address FTC's concerns. With regard to the FDA-related violations described in this letter, please notify FDA in writing, within fifteen working days of receipt of this letter, of the specific steps you have taken to correct the violations noted above. Your response should include any documentation that would assist in evaluating your corrections. If you cannot complete corrective action within fifteen working days, please explain the reason for the delay and the date by which you will make the correction.

If you need additional infonnation or have questions concerning any products distributed through your website, please contact the FDA. You may respond in writing to Compliance Officer Shawn Goldman at U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Drive, College Park, MD 20740.

If you have any questions concerning this letter, please contact Mr. Goldman at Shawn.Goldman@fda.hhs.gov.

Sincerely,

/S/
William A. Correll
Director
Office of Compliance
Center for Food Safety
   and Applied Nutrition

/S/
Mary K. Engle
Associate Director
Division of Advertising Practices
Federal Trade Commission

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