FTC Says Forget About Memory Recovery Pill

Phenomenal Claims Phenomenally Deceptive, Watchdog Charges

Memory Loss
FTC Wins Judgment Against Memory Recovery Pill. George Marks/Retrofile

Wow! How about a pill “clinically proven” to reverse up to 15 years of memory loss? Forget about it, says the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

That’s just one of the medical miracles the makers and marketers of the pill Procera AVH falsely claimed their “breakthrough nutritional formula” would perform, according to the FTC.

In a lawsuit, the FTC charged that several related companies, including Brain Research Labs, KeyView Labs, and MedHealth Direct misled consumers by falsely claiming that Procera had been clinically proven to as a “solution” for memory loss associated with aging, as well as decreased learning ability, concentration and everyday decision making.

 

Ads for the product claimed Procera would “help reverse up to 15 years of mental decline,” while also improving focus and concentration.

Warning that by age 50, people lose more than 50% of their brainpower, can no longer be trusted with money, and often end up having to live in nursing homes “with strangers,” the companies’ ads played to the fears of seniors, the FTC alleged.

[ Living Past 90 in America ]

One newspaper ad for the product the headline stated, “Memory Pill Helps the Brain Like Prescription Glasses Help the Eyes … Remarkable changes observed, helps users match the memory power of others 15 years younger in as little as 30 days!”

Did the Ads Work? Yes, and Then Some

Prompted by the print ads, web ads, and lavish TV infomercials, U.S. consumers paying anywhere from $40 to $80 for a 3-4 week supply of the pills, gobbled up about $36 million worth of Procera AVH from 2013 through March 2014.

However, charged the FTC, the companies named in their complaint failed to back up their memory health claims with solid scientific evidence as required by the Federal Trade Commission Act.

The Price of Deception

Under a court settlement, the marketers of Procera AVH agreed to pay $1.4 million to the FTC and another $400,000 to satisfy a judgment in a case brought against them by local California law enforcement officials.

In addition, the defendants will be barred from making similar deceptive claims in the future and from misrepresenting the existence, results, or conclusions of any scientific study related to their products.

“The defendants in this case couldn’t back up their claims that Procera AVH would reverse age-related mental decline and memory loss," said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in a press release. “Be skeptical of ads promising quick and easy cures.”

“If you remember nothing else, be skeptical before buying a product claiming to do the phenomenal,” stated the FTC blog. “And file a complaint with the FTC if you pay for a product that promises, but fails to deliver, miraculous results.”